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June 2011: Carplane – A Road-Air Vehicle

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 2011: Carplane – A  Road-Air Vehicle

Imagine the daily commute without transfers, exits, congestion, or missed connections. As an aircraft that can also drive on roads, the Carplane® will head for its destination in a beeline without detours or stop-and-go traffic. Located in Lower Saxony, Germany, and under the general management of Angela Fleck, herself a pilot, the Carplane GmbH is in the process of building such a dual-mode vehicle. Designed as a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA), requiring only 20 hours of instruction to fly, commercial applications will include recreation, business travel, and emergency service.

To overcome various challenges of ground and air travel, the Carplane® concept embodies many innovations. As an electric vehicle in road-mode, the Carplane® promises to be an environmentally-friendly mode of transportation. The air-mode combustion motor uses premium fuel and operates at low RPM with relatively low consumption, noise and emissions. With twin aerodynamically shaped hulls (one for each occupant), swing-wings which are stowed between the hulls while driving, and an extendable tail, the Carplane® optimizes lift in air-mode and generates downforce in road-mode, thereby enabling autobahn-speeds. This efficiency in design allows for a predicted take-off and landing roll of just 93 yards (85 meters) as well as top cruise and road speeds of 136 mph (118 kts) and 109 mph (176km/h) respectively.

To watch a video and to learn more, please click here.