JETSON Aero claims to have made the first commercially available “flying car”. The Swedish company hopes that in the future, the vehicle it designs will be able to replace traditional cars as a means of transportation. The Jetson One is a one-person flying car that takes off and lands vertically. This vehicle has four propellers mounted horizontally — one at each corner of the vehicle — just like a drone.
According to Jetson Aero, the company that produces it, it only takes five minutes to learn how to fly it. Jetson Aero founder and CTO (Chief Technical Officer) Tomasz Patan explained that the vehicle’s flight control system is a fly-by-wire system which means it uses a computer to process flight control inputs.
The eight-engine flying car, made of aluminum and carbon fiber, retails for $92,000 and can reach a top speed of 102 km/h and fly for 18 minutes. Jetson Aero founder and president, Peter Ternstrom, said there was a lot of interest in the vehicle and so far they have sold about 150 units, of which about 80 percent of customers are in the United States.
“There’s absolutely no turbulence when flying it, so it’s very, very stable. Even when you’re flying straight, it’s stable and it’s like being on a magic carpet that can fly,” he said. For now, battery technology is holding back the development of the Jetson One. But the company predicts, with advances in battery technology, in the next few years these vehicles can fly longer.
Ternstrom says his company’s main goal is to revolutionize transportation by making “everyone a pilot”. However, he admits there will be many obstacles in making it happen.
“It is necessary to change the legal framework of transportation to make this happen. So this is just a very, very, very small first step. At the moment, we just want to make the owners of these vehicles have fun. Practical things will come later, maybe for products.” An upcoming Jetson, one that has a longer range or one that has passenger space,” he said.