Hoversurf Unveils $97,000 Flying Car Made with 3D-Printed Materials
【Summary】Formula is powered by 28 electric thrusters and 52 turbine propulsion components, allowing it travel at a top speed of 198 mph (320 kph).
Hoversurf won over numerous spectators when it unveiled a VTOL-powered police bike (Scorpion 3) for the Dubai Police Force at GITEX. Now the San Francisco-based (with a branch in Moscow and a production facility in Dubai) company is back with another ambitious transportation vessel.
Earlier this month, the business revealed Formula, a VTOL-powered flying car that seats five passengers. Unlike the other flying cars featured on this site, this one is manufactured using 3D-printed carbon fiber and metal. This will result in less wastage of materials during production, allowing Hoversurf to price the vessel at $97,000 (within the same price range as the Tesla Model S).
"Do you know the problem with all flying car projects?" asked the company, in an article for 3Ders.org. "They're all made for the future. They're impossible to park and impractical for daily use. Formula was created for the present day and will quickly and seamlessly become a part of your everyday life."
Eco-friendly, Aerial Transportation
The flying car will come with decent range, up to 279.6 miles (450 km). Considering the unit will be able to move seamlessly over traffic and buildings during operation, this range should be able to provide more than 10 trips per day. Formula is powered by 28 electric thrusters and 52 turbine propulsion components, allowing it travel at a top speed of 198 mph (320 kph).
"The meaning of this [Venturi] effect is that ordinary atmospheric air is drawn into the turbine outlet by injection, creating an additional flow and reducing the noise of a high-speed jet flow inside the low speed flow," said Hoversurf, on its website.
Designed for urban transportation, the vessel operates quietly and comes with sustainable features. Its wings are foldable, which come in handy during parking. Early renderings of the flying car reveal it can be parked next to road-based vehicles at public parking lots.
At the moment, Hoversurf engineers are preparing to build the first prototype. The group recently completed the concept phase and expects to launch the initial version of the Formula by 2018.
As with all flying cars currently being tested, safety is top priority. The company reassures individuals on its website, highlighting the VTOL-powered aircraft does not use rotary engines.
Furthermore, the system components work independently, so that when malfunction occurs, the vessel can maneuver to a safe location. For example, according to the establishment, if half of the turbines suddenly stop working, the aircraft will be able to land in one piece.
"If the wing breaks out, the copter will land. If the copter breaks, the plane will land," explained the startup.
Is Hoversurf really capable of building a 3D-printed flying car? The answer could be yes.
The startup is backed by Qiwi Wallet, a Russia-based e-wallet service provider for over 11 million local residents in the country, Vnesheconombank, a Russian government-owned banking institution, and Starta Capital, a Moscow-based venture capital firm. With support from high-level investors, Hoversurf could be a top contender in the race to commercialize flying cars.
Michael Cheng is a legal editor and technical writer with publications for Blackberry ISHN Magazine Houzz and Payment Week. He specializes in technology business and digesting hard data. Outside of work Michael likes to train for marathons spend time with his daughter and explore new places.
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