Toronto, Ontario — Samson Sky, an aircraft manufacturer based out of Redmond, Oregon was recently granted a patent by the European Union for a flying sports car known as the Switchblade.
To fly the Switchblade, the wings on the vehicle spread out and the tail extends in fewer than three minutes, the patent claims.
The vehicle-turned-plane can travel at speeds up to 200 mph and up to 13,000 feet and requires a landing distance of 700 feet.
The Switchblade’s first practice flight was recently held at Lake Moses in Washington. Here, the prototype test vehicle took off and flew at an altitude of 500 feet for nearly six minutes before successfully landing.
The vehicle-plane combo can be registered as an Experimental Category Aircraft and as a custom motorcycle or kit car on the ground, depending on local regulations.
On the ground, the three-wheel vehicle has a top speed of 125 mph with a maximum range of 450 miles. The vehicle has a hybrid electric system that uses unleaded gas so that can also be fuelled at a gas station.
The Samson Sky team plans to use the flight test data to finalize production engineering and build several more prototypes.
The company says it has received more than 2,700 reservations valued at more than $5 million from people in 57 countries and all U.S. states to purchase the $170,000 vehicle.
If purchased, the Switchblade needs to be flown under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) or can be customized for pilots certified to fly under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). To fly the vehicle, owners will also need to have their private pilot certification.
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