Unlike lots of flying car "concepts" out there, the LaBiche Aerospace FSC-1 (Flying Sports Car-1) has actually moved beyond the design stage by flying a prototype. Well, sort of.
This envisioned 180-mile per hour (289.7-kilometer per hour) street, 275-mile per hour (442.6-kilometer per hour) air vehicle has been flight tested as a quarter-scale radio-controlled model. Company officials have also tested and demonstrated the aircraft using a life-size cockpit as the centerpiece of an FSC-1 virtual simulator. As for appearance, you could say it looks like many high-performance supercars, with the only giveaways to its aerial alter ego being numerous doors and hatches that hide flight surfaces. As an airplane, it vaguely resembles many of the lightweight, canard-bearing, revolutionary aircraft that emerged from the designing pen of aviation pioneer Burt Rutan.
As the name suggests, the FSC-1 is built to deliver sports car performance when in ground mode. The producers say their intent was actually to eliminate all visual hints that the vehicle can fly, so as not to invite passersby to interfere with sensitive air control surfaces when they see the FSC-1 parked.
That means the wings, canard, and distinctive V-tail must fold and stow into hollow areas on the car's body. Projected cost per car (plane) is around $175,000, and the company says it is it will be available "sometime in the near future [source: LaBiche Aerospace]."
For more information about flying cars and other related topics, follow the links below.
- Adams, William Lee. "Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Q&A." Time. May 28, 2009. (Jan. 28, 2010)http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1900969,00.html
- Frank, Thomas. "Feds Keep Little-Used Airports in Business." USA Today. Sept. 17, 2009. (Jan. 31, 2010)http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2009-09-17-little-used-airports_N.htm
- Icon Aircraft. (Feb. 1, 2010)http://www.iconaircraft.com/
- LaBiche Aerospace FSC-1. (Feb. 1, 2010)http://www.labicheaerospace.com/
- NASA. "Small Aircraft Transportation System." (Feb. 1, 2010)http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/news/factsheets/SATS.html
- Popular Mechanics. "Flying Cars: Your So-Called Sci-Fi Life." April 23, 2007. (Jan. 27, 2010)http://www.popularmechanics.com/blogs/automotive_news/4215922.html
- Skycar Expedition. (Jan. 31, 2010)http://www.skycarexpedition.com/index.php
- Waller, Steven "Monk." "Transformer - TX Proposer's Day Workshop." Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Tactical Technology Office. Jan. 14, 2010. (Jan. 31, 2010)https://www.fbo.gov/download/4c3/4c3b97485d84ad52cad7f0d8fe57420b/Final_Waller_TX_Industry_Briefing.pdf
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