How long would you say, if pushed for an answer over a pint and a packet of crisps, do you think it’s going to take before cars can fly? Properly fly. You know, through clouds and stuff. Fifty years sound reasonable? Thirty perhaps? How about three. That’s right, by the year 2023 we will, if the flying-car boffins get their way, be cruising high above the streets and houses, with a rainbow flying by.
This year has been the year of the flying vehicles at motor shows, with big names like Toyota and small Chinese companies like Xpeng, all involved in sending four wheels upwards. And while novelty flying vehicles are nothing new, this is the first time the industry seems unanimously agreed on an actual date to see driving machines in the sky. And that’s 2023 folks. You heard it here first.
Rolled out at this year’s Beijing Auto Show, Chinese company Xpeng’s all electric machine is still in concept phase, but once in production it will hold two passengers and cruise along at twenty five meters above the ground. How does it fly you ask? With eight propellers, that’s how. Admittedly it has no wheels, so it's not really a car, but let’s not worry about details right now - it’s a flying machine!
Again, let’s hurry past the fact it has no wheels. And that there’s an elephant drawn on the door. This Turkish machine has completed its first test flight, cruising at 33 feet, which is good enough for us. Built by Bakar Defense, the Cezeri is expected to reach 62 miles an hour at a height of 1.2 miles above the ground. Sold!
3. SkyDrive Sd-03
This is it. The big one. First it’s backed by Toyota. Second, it’s got a proper boffin flying name, with numbers and everything. It’s 6.5 feet tall, 13 feet wide, it goes up, it comes down, and Chief Technology Officer, Nobuo Kishi insists this will be commercially available by 2023. That’s good enough for us, to the parachute shop!