Flying Car Prototype Crashes


A pilot was injured in the runway crash of a prototype flying car at Willow Run Airport near Detroit on Friday. WDIV TV reported the crash happened about 1 p.m. while the Detroit Flying Cars WD-1 was undergoing taxi tests. The station said it was told by Wayne County Airport Authority officials that the WD-1 “unexpectedly went airborne” and crashed on the runway. Images from the scene show the vehicle was heavily damaged. The pilot was taken to the University of Michigan Hospital by paramedics but the nature of his injuries was not detailed.

The WD-1 looks something like the better known Terrafugia Transition but has some different design features. For instance, instead of folding the wings against the fuselage for driving on the road, the wings and canards telescope into and out of storage bays in the fuselage. The flying surfaces are vertically offset so they stow stacked one on the other in the fuselage. The wheels are independently driven by electric motors on the road. In the air, an Airmomentum 100-horspower four-cylinder engine powers the rear propeller. The FAA granted the company a special airworthiness certificate for flight testing in July of 2018.