Despite the best work of thousands of inventors around the globe, and a vision of every sci-fi movie, true flying cars have never caught on for a multitude of engineering, safety and practical reasons. So it's worth noting when a Slovakian designer reveals a new take on the idea that avoids one of the great pitfalls facing any such project: At least it looks good.
Called Aeromobil, the car was created by Slovakian engineer Stefan Klein, who's background includes work for Audi and BMW. Based on the outlines of a single-engine plane, the Aeromobil version 2.5 draws power from a 100-hp Rotax airplane engine, and can travel 430 miles on a load of fuel in the air or 310 miles on the ground. When not in use, the carbon-fiber wings fold solidly behind the two-person cockpit, disengaging the rear propeller.
Klein says he's refined his idea for nearly two decades, and expects version 3.0 of the Aeromobil could be a production-ready version. Yet as the video below shows, driving the Aeromobil looks far more normal than flying one, and many of the flying car projects that have come before failed at road transportation and airworthiness alike. If nothing else, the Aeromobil may prove Buzz Lightyear's line from "Toy Story" that flying is just falling with style.