The Samson Switchblade Flying Car is Finally Ready for Takeoff – and it’s Kinda Brilliant
A street-legal three-wheeled car that turns at the push of a button into a 200 mph plane is ready for final testing.
Having received its airworthiness certificate from the FAA, the Samson Switchblade is ready for test flights after 14 years of development.
Flying cars are almost here, with one being granted airworthiness from the Slovakian authorities, the aptly-named “AirCar,” in January of this year and which is now set for production.
The Switchblade, which takes its name from the way the wings hide under the main chassis, would technically be registered as a motorcycle due to the three wheels. It has a 1.6 liter, three cylinder engine that takes 91-octane gasoline to create 190 horsepower which powers an electric motor that pushes the wheels on land, and propeller in the air.
This can create almost 200 miles per hour of cruising speed, with a 450-mile range on a full tank. You will need around 1,100 feet of runway to take off, and another 700 to land, but once the wings and tail fold up, the thing is little bigger than a family sedan.
SIMILAR: A Flying Car Just Got Certified as Airworthy to Fly
If, say, flying cars could be as widely sold as a higher-end sports car, (the Switchblade will cost $150,000, but Samson has already taken 1,600 reservations) then one could imagine smaller airstrips popping up to service them, and existing a little like yacht clubs or other membership-based models.
As New Atlas puts it, Samson has been working on the Switchblade since the original iPhone was a year old, so the team is scurrying to finally get some flight tests under their belt.