Peep this new roadable aircraft, the last creation of legendary aerospace designer Burt Rutan. Scaled Composites unveiled their new flying car to Aviation Week this week.
The Model 367 BiPod is a dual-fuselage, hybrid electric car-plane, which engineers at Scaled took from a preliminary design to first flight in just four months. It made its maiden trip March 30, just before Rutan's official retirement.
The warm autumn sun has burned a hole in the morning haze and opened up the sky above the South Foreland Lighthouse, a historic beacon along the White Cliffs of Dover, England. It marks the narrowest point of the English Channel. You can't quite make out where the sea meets the coast of France, a tantalizing 22 miles distant, but a little surface gauze won't interfere with what's coming across the Channel today.
In the race to build a so-called personal flying machine, few developers have got much past the tethered-hop stage, with promises of one in every garage sometime soon. Generations of hopeful flyers have died waiting. But Israel's Urban Aeronautics at least addresses a key point: A machine like the X-Hawk concept shown here (which the company recently released, saying it's the design they'll build) has less chance of serving your average frustrated commuter's needs than of playing a utility role in commercial and government transport. Projected uses include urban rescue, repair and patrol.