Miscellaneous Information from Volante to you
1. Worth repeating: As we said in our opening statement, the primary purpose of the Volante program is to demonstrate and make known to the aviation community and to the public the capability of the flying car to take a position in our transportation system right alongside the automobile.
2. We will not sell a kit prior to completion of all flight and drive tests and the publishing of solid performance data that has actually been achieved. We expect most, if not all of that data to be provided by the kit version, although the prototype may be used when appropriate.
3. In the next few months we will set a date for fully refundable deposits to commence, which will establish our delivery sequence. We reserve the right to set aside a few kits for factory assist builders to be sure our demonstration program can start as quickly as possible.
4. We will require that you provide usage data for the car and for the complete flying car for six months after completion of each. We will welcome continued voluntary participation in this information program. Hardship reporting exemptions will be considered as they come up.
Work in progress
We are in the process of refurbishing our test scarred prototype in preparation for more off-road test driving to be followed by registration of both the car and the trailer in California. These steps will take us on the way to proving our capability to drive on CA freeways and ultimately alongside the 18 wheelers. This is how we believe that useful maximum speeds should be established for each configuration. In parallel with the above, a final design optimization of the aircraft will lead directly into detail design and the construction of our two kit proving prototypes. They will follow the configuration of our prototype with minor changes to make conversion from flying car to car and trailer and back easier and quicker.
We would move faster with an infusion of dollars at this point, so we plan on putting the Volante project into the crowdfunding arena. Our pilots and the public in general have seen many flying cars come and go, with none ever getting to the point where its potential position in the transportation system could be established. We at Volante believe that there will be a great deal of interest, by both the general public (“Where is my flying car?”) and the pilot population, in making this historic and much overdue determination –enough so that that raising the dollars to complete our program through the demonstration will be quite practical. If past public reaction to a new flying car is any yardstick, we expect a lot of help in publicizing our efforts to complete this page in the history books. Using our own funds up to now to build and test both car and airplane has released us from any potential pressure of the type that can be felt when a funding source has a compelling voice in design.
As I have said, we actually built and tested a prior flying car, which during flight test exhibited an inherent handling characteristic that we judged to be unacceptable to other than skilled pilots. We were disappointed, to be sure, but we were totally free to start over with a clean sheet of paper and build a new configuration — the car and trailer — salvaging only part of the car in the effort. This first car and airplane are shown below.
Volante canard aircraft airborne at Mojave and corresponding car picture
In essence, because of the above experience we are able to bring to you, as our first public offering, a seasoned third generation flying car for the milestone evaluation we have set as the Volante goal.
We expect to make the car kit available in a little over a year from receiving funding, taking advantage of the durability testing to be done in the meantime with the prototype car, and also because we are using a proven drive train. We expect to provide the car kit in a configuration where moving it into flying status will not require a significant loss of usage. A limited number of factory assist cars will initially be provided — again, to get started with our demonstration evaluation as soon as possible. We will also be checking with the FAA and DOT to determine the degree to which the flying car can be preassembled.