Where's My Flying Car?
The car's not here yet, but a flying motorcycle has arrived... complete with its own headlight and license plate. And if you too are completely insane, you can have one! That may be a common reaction, but it may also be not all that fair. The facts are that Larry Neal, president of Butterfly LLC, says his patented fly-drive vehicle is fully tested and ready for sale as a Super Sky Cycle kit for $24,995. The single-seat gyroplane meets all FAA criteria as an Experimental aircraft and can also be licensed to travel the roads as a homebuilt motorcycle, Neal said. The rotor is easy to fold and secure for driving, and the lanky landing gear -- to absorb the momentum of near-vertical landings -- even crouches down so you can fit the thing in your garage. "After 12 years of development, we're seeing our dreams come true," Neal said at a news conference on Wednesday. Before casting judgement, you may want to wait on an independent flight review ... look for it somewhere else. "It takes less than five minutes to change from fly to drive or back. It goes 60 miles per hour on the road and about 70 in the air, lands in less than 30 feet, and can fit into your garage. You don't need a hangar and you don't need an airport." It's safe, stable, fun to fly, and affordable, Neal said. Coming next, he says, is a fully enclosed two-seater. The current model is not propelled on the road with a moving propeller. A belt drive system is incorporated to engage the wheels with the same engine used to drive the prop, while a single bolt removed from the prop attachment allows the crankshaft to move freely inside the prop hub, which then rides on bearings and remains fixed.