The ultimate goal of the Volante flying car program is to prove to the aviation community and to the public, by actual demonstration, that the flying car, properly designed to today’s need, can bring revolutionary new capabilities to our transportation system. In other words, we believe that:
THE FLYING CAR DESERVES A POSITION RIGHT ALONGSIDE THE AUTOMOBILE IN OUR TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
Our first step was to determine through our web site that there are enough enthusiastic flying car homebuilders so that we could count on the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA.org) kit approach as a source of dedicated builder/pilots and aircraft. With this assured, we had a practical, relatively low cost and rapid way to conduct our demonstration. Volante and our builders would become a team dedicated to getting enough flying cars operating worldwide to report statistically useful information regarding the usage of both car and airplane.
Continuing with our plan, our builders will report usage to Volante and we will take on all of the administrative tasks. These include a large publicity effort, making the public aware of our program and what it means to them— also setting up the whole usage information reporting system. The latter will include the task of collecting, compiling and accurately reporting pilot experience in a meaningful way to the media and on our website. We expect news sources to be extremely receptive to helping us, based on heavy public interest in flying cars in the past, a strong incentive. Needless to say, we will work hard for our share of coverage, both conventional such as TV and the press, and the social media as well.
We would expect to get some form of support from both the EAA and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), because a success in our program will also result in a life-saving boost for light private aviation, a goal they have both been fighting to achieve for many years. Our latest prototype flying car, which with improvements suggested by flight and driving experience most closely meets today’s need, will be the machine we use in our program. We expect our crowdfunding campaign, which will launched soon, to provide the additional funds to carry out the rest of the program above.
Here is what we expect the demonstration to show.
1. The flying car is a car—it has all of the great qualities you have come to expect in this machine.
2. The flying car is an airplane—to the car it adds flying speed and range.
3. On encountering undesirable flying weather, the flying car can land and drive through it.
With the unique flying car capability set forth under 3. above, a good weather pilot can undertake a trip through uncertain or bad weather and be confident that he can complete the journey. For this same flight certainty by airplane, he would have to have completed expensive, highly skilled instrument flight training, have kept his skill up through further actual or simulated instrument flight, and typically use an expensively equipped instrument aircraft. Not really worth the effort for most people. With the flying car he takes his ground transportation with him and simply uses his easy to acquire visual flight skills. All of the complexity is avoided.
One real question to be answered during our demonstration is how this “drive through weather” capability can be used most effectively. To answer this question will take time and experimentation by our determined pilots.
The dedicated flying car enthusiasts who will be our early kit purchasers are, in a sense, acting as did the pioneers who actually “demonstrated and sold” the automobile to the public. In the early 1900s only a few people could afford one of these expensive handmade machines, and they drove them every day on the streets for everybody to see –and to envy. Henry Ford, himself a high end automobile producer, looked on and listened. In time he realized that the only barrier to very widespread and productive use of the auto was price. If he could devise a way to produce the auto inexpensively he could sell thousands. He came up with the economy of mass production and the rest is history. We expect the flying car to follow in steps similar to those of the automobile. Over time, the first move forward will be the fully ready to fly version, followed shortly by the mass produced, truly affordable flying cars. When this has happened . . .
THE FLYING CAR WILL HAVE FINALLY TAKEN ITS PLACE RIGHT ALONGSIDE THE AUTOMOBILE IN OUR TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM