The “Flying Roadster”—AeroMobil 3.0—will be unveiled in Vienna during the Pioneers Festival on October 29. The new unique prototype is going to be physically displayed for the first time to a public audience, and combines the qualities of supercars and light sports aircraft. The Pioneers Festival at the Imperial Palace in Vienna has an international reputation as the place where future technologies and science meet entrepreneurship with over 2,500 participating opinion leaders and over 600 attending high tech start-ups. “At Pioneers we cannot imagine a single piece of technology that is a better representation of the future other than the flying car,” says Juergen Furian, co-founder of Pioneers.
From the Jetsons’ aerocar to the “spinner” in Blade Runner, via Doc Brown’s modified DeLorean in the Back to the Future films, the flying car has been part of visions of the future for so long that it almost feels retro. A first patent was registered in 1903 and Waldo Waterman’s “aerobile” went on its maiden flight in 1937. Yet, 100 years later, automobiles are still frustratingly short of options when stuck in traffic. Things may be about to change: in 2014, talk of the first genuine flying car is setting the tech scene abuzz again.
Behind the urge for such vehicles redolent of sci-fi films is man’s insatiable urge for speed. Ever since he saw in prehistoric times how animals could easily outrun him, his quest has been for greater and greater acceleration either on his two feet by breaking, for instance, the four-minute barrier in covering a mile, or with the help of technology. The Formula One competitions are nothing but a demonstration of this primeval desire. But, clocking ever higher speeds on the ground will never be satisfying as long as there is a technical possibility of taking to the air. But, like the racing car, the flying car, too, is likely to remain a toy of specialists, not of the common man.