Israeli Flying Car Nears First Test Flight

In early 2007, Urban Aeronautics announced it'd have an "air jeep" flying car dubbed the X-Hawk ready for flight by 2009. The future's now, and while the X-Hawk isn't quite ready, the test mule almost is, and this is it.

The Urban Aeronautics concept for a flying car, or "fancraft" as they like to call it, centers on a ducted fan concept which was tested by the US military long ago with unacceptable results. Fast forward several decades and add much larger control surfaces, high-power and more reliable hardware, much better controls logic combined with the magic of modern computer processing speeds and the concept is no longer so far-fetched.

The Israeli company currently has a proof of concept scale prototype which runs on electricity, but they're in the final stages of completing a full scale test mule powered by a pair of gas turbine engines which will supposedly be ready for its maiden voyage in about two months. When fully developed, the craft should be able to achieve vertical takeoff, hover, rotate 360 degrees at a standstill, reach speeds up to 115 MPH and drop vertically into a tight urban landing zone.

Currently envisioned uses include ambulances and general rescue vehicles, "air jeeps" for military usage, since the vehicle would be able to get into places no helicopter would dare, and holding down a parking space at Jalopnik HQ. [The Register]