While technologically advanced electric vehicles (EVs) are grabbing the attention of car buyers around the world, Japanese automaker Subaru has made its own headlines in the novelty space.
It was recently announced that Subaru had applied for a patent for a “land-and-air vehicle” against the design of what appears to be a flying motorcycle, as the vehicle’s hand-drawn design matches the description.
The patent application reportedly adds that the wings of the flying vehicle fold in at the sides while the vehicle is driven on the road and that they expand when the motorcycle is about to take flight.
How it Works
The wings have a flip function that allows them and the propellers to point upwards before flight. This feature allows the motorcycle to fly vertically and land in the same way. There will also be a fixed rotor at the tail of the fuselage so the operator can change direction during flight.
Once the vehicle is in the air, the wings fold to a horizontal position to allow the propellers to point forward, allowing the vehicle to propel forward. While the motorcycle is in the air, its wheels are also stuck in the fuselage-shaped body of the aircraft.
The entire mechanism is powered by an internal combustion engine that powers road and air traffic. The motorcycle has regular driving functions in conjunction with flight functions such as the autopilot mode so that the driver can concentrate on turns, speed and altitude.
While it is an ambitious endeavor, the laws of the auto industry and commuting are still a long way from being accepted as the norm for land and air vehicles in all parts of the world.
There are many technical and legal implications that are holding back this concept from developing, but with recent advances in technology, the proverbial “Jetsons” era of flying cars may be closer than we think.