Mildly successful flying car crashes - in mildly successful test flight
Brilliance of the AeroMobil prototype's parachute demonstrated
Slovakian company AeroMobil, which claims to have spotted a gap in the market for flying cars, managed to take its experimental prototype to an altitude of 300 metres before test pilot and inventor, Stefan Klein, "encountered an unexpected situation" and opened the vehicle's parachute.
The test flight for the AeroMobil 3.0 prototype took place in Slovakia, on Friday, where the machine has been certified by the Federation of Ultra-Light Flying, nested under the Slovak Civil Aviation Authority.
An AeroMobil statement announced that "during one of the test flights, that took place on May 8 2015, the inventor and test pilot, Stefan Klein, encountered an unexpected situation and activated the advanced ballistic parachute system".
In an attempt to portray the incident in the best possible light, the statement positively celebrated the full functionality of the parachute system, and claims it managed to land the entire vehicle without any injury to the pilot.
"The detailed data and overall experience from this test flight will be thoroughly analyzed and the results will be used in the ongoing R&D and improvements of the prototype. Testing of the current prototype 3.0 and further product development will continue after the replacement of the damaged parts," said the statement.
Slovakian media managed to photograph the seemingly limited damage.
AeroMobil states the the prototype phase of vehicle development naturally includes the likelihood of an unexpected situation, and took to twitter to quote Henry Ford that the "only real mistake is one from which we learn nothing".
"This is a learning period which allows us to detect and subsequently refine our design," the team clarifies. "It is necessary to test the prototype in every way possible to establish its limits and to improve on them. The flight recording details will help us learn from the data and improve the performance of the vehicle."
Speaking at the South by Southwest conference earlier this year, company founder Juraj Vaculik told conference attendees that he believed regulation would ultimately accommodate flying cars, which he suggested may even be piloted automatically within a decade. ®