Tel Aviv - Flying cars are moving from the realms of science-fiction to reality in a relatively short space of time as ever-worsening traffic congestion is moving us towards 3D mobility: the utopian ideal of being able to soar over the gridlock instead of being stuck on the ground.
Israel's Urban Aeronautics (UA) has announced it plans to be one of the first to put a VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Lift) car into series production.
The CityHawk VTOL six-seater flying car is an air taxi that’s scheduled to hit urban skies in around 2021. Initially it will run on a hybrid petrol-electric setup with a claimed top air speed of 273km/h. Later, when hydrogen filling stations become more common, the vehicle will be converted to run on hydrogen fuel cells.
Designed like a giant drone, the CityHawk features a large propeller at each end, with power supplied by two 750kW turboshaft engines. There are also two rear-mounted props to generate forward thrust.
Helicopters have been performing much the same task as this vehicle for decades, but the CityHawk is a more practical city-hopper due to its compact size – it’s no larger than a car – and its enclosed propellers don’t pose as much of a safety risk to bystanders in densely populated areas. It’s also a lot quieter than a chopper.