By: Andy Newbound
The cult-classic Blade Runner and the Ian Fleming-penned children’s chucklefest Chitty, Chitty, Bang Bang are two films rarely mentioned in the same breath. Until now!
Throw in Back To The Future, Fifth Element, Grease, plus Harry Potter, and those of you with a keen mind for cinema history will spot what each of these movies have in common…flying cars!
Of course, every one of these cars is the stuff of make-believe and fantasy. Movies are the only place any of us will ever find a flying car. Yet all that could be about to change, especially if companies like Airbus have their way.
Incredibly, Airbus has recently announced that it plans to test a prototype flying car by the end of this year. That’s right…the end of THIS YEAR!
Airbus is one of the world’s biggest aerospace companies, so if they say it’s going to happen it probably will. Indeed, the company’s chief executive, Tom Enders, told a conference in Germany that it intends to test a small prototype vehicle and have ambitions for a much wider roll out as soon as 2021.
Despite most of us perhaps believing that flying cars have hitherto been the stuff of sci-fi, this isn’t actually the case. Google’s founder Larry Page has invested millions into two flying car projects, and Chinese company E-Hang has already developed its own prototype design. Even Uber are keen to get in on the flying-car act, with their own research team apparently looking into flying cars as an alternative way for passengers to get around.
Yet Airbus believes flying cars are the solution to growing road congestion problem and will help members of the public save time and money, as Enders explained:
“With flying, you don’t need to pour billions into concrete bridges and roads. One hundred years ago, urban transport went underground, now we have the technological wherewithal to go above ground. If we ignore these developments, we will be pushed out of important segments of the business. We take this development very seriously.”
As the world’s largest producer of commercial helicopters, Airbus appears well placed to exploit the new aviation segment. They even see a future when people can book a flying taxi through a smartphone app, similar in many ways to Uber. If the company has its way, those days could be just around the corner.
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