This Slovakian Flying Car Is Either The Future Or A Great Publicity Stunt

Aeromobil CEO Juraj Vaculik wants to become the Henry Ford and the Elon Musk of flying cars – in the next two years. Is he nuts?

If someone asked you where the next great automotive innovation would come from, you would give a pretentious argument for the U.S., Japan, or Italy or tell your inquisitor to go bother someone else. What you almost certainly would not say is Slovalkia. And that would be fair enough. The Eastern European country’s automotive history consists of a few Citroens and some Skodas. It’s surprising then that Aeromobil, the company most aggressively pursuing the flying car market, is based in Bratislava. And they think they’ll be selling winged wheels by 2017.

Claiming – at SXSW – that you’re two years away from having a viable flying car is a sure way to get headlines (see: this article), but Aeromobil CEO Juraj Vaculik may actually succeed. The reason is simple: He’s kind of cheating. Where most people who have attempted to engineer airborn sedans have worked to transform cars, he’s essentially modifying a plane. That’s why his prototype looks more like a missile than a Maserati and why you probably wouldn’t want to drive the thing, which you’ll need a pilot’s license to operate, on a highway. Ultimately, that’s fine. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Vaculik has cracked the code, but it does mean he might be able to open a market other companies can move toward.

And flying cars are really for flying anyway. You don’t splash out on a carbon-fiber, swing-wing Solovakian moonshot because you want to shorten your commute. You do it because you want to take women out on very memorable dates. Just use the movie theater parking lot as a runway and you’re good to go.