A flying car has achieved its first successful flight in a major step towards seeing those types of vehicles on the roads and across the skies.
Flying cars have long been a dream for many people, and with the Samson Sky Switchblade, drivers can finally live their dream with the new three-wheeled vehicle.
The price of the Switchblade starts at $170,000 (£135,500), followed by £195,000 (£155,500) which comes with “more equipment in it”.
The brand also has a special edition which starts at $330,000 (£263,000) as well as a “one-of-one” edition which will set drivers back $770,000 (£613,690).
The Samson Sky Switchblade and founder Sam Bousfield
The Switchblade flying sports car is classified as an experimental aircraft, with enough room for two passengers.
According to Fox Business, the maximum airspeed of the vehicle is 200mph and comes with an impressive driving speed of more than 125mph.
It has a flying range of 450 miles, which would be enough to fly from London to the German city of Hamburg.
Sam Bousfield, CEO of Samson Sky, has been with the company since 2008, saying funding came from “friends and family” at first, before debt financing in the early stages, but the company has now been backed with equity finance.
In the first test flight of the vehicle, the Switchblade flew 500 feet above Grant County Airport in Washington and was airborne for around six minutes.
The CEO said he “wished” he could have been the first person to test fly the Switchblade but was tested instead by the “very experienced” Robert Moehle.
He said: “You do need a private pilot’s licence to fly it, but you can also just buy the thing, drive it as you wish and use it for flight training. It’ll save you about half the price and cost of flight training.
“We designed this thing to be used now. In the future with all the vertical takeoffs, they need to build all the landing spaces, but we have 5,000 airports in the US.
“So we can go ahead and utilise that underutilised airport infrastructure and be ready now.”
Fox Business presenter Stuart Varney asked Bousfield whether the Switchblade had a parachute, clarifying that it wasn’t a joke question.
He said people have the option of a “full vehicle parachute” in case they need to use it in an emergency.
The Samson Sky website states: “Imagine a 10-hour, 500-mile driving trip transformed to 3.5 hours door-to-door and you skip the traffic and TSA lines, with your bags still in the back.”
Despite optimism around the vehicle, Bousfield clarified that people would not be able to get their hands on them for another two years.
There are already 2,300 reservations from all 50 American states, as well as 57 nations.
The interior of the Samson Sky Switchblade
Under current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) laws, aircrafts are prohibited from taking off from private or public streets.
The vehicle reportedly flies at a height of 13,000 feet or almost 4,000 metres, compared to a standard commercial airline, which flies at about 35,000 feet.