The Samson Switchblade flying sports car has successfully made its inaugural flight after years of development and testing. The hybrid vehicle still has a long way to go before it is mass-produced and made available to the public, but we now have a suitable proof of concept that a flying car for the masses is possible. This proof of concept comes in the form of a video showing the Samson Switchblade not only reaching an altitude of 500 ft on its maiden voyage, but landing successfully.
If you’re wondering what kind of top speeds the Samson Switchblade can reach, you’ll be pleased to know that on the road it can reach top speeds over 125 mph, and in the air, it tops out at 200 mph. The Switchblade can travel 500 miles on a single 36-gallon tank of gas, and runs on regular 91-octane fuel. Qualifying as a motorcycle in many jurisdictions because of its three-wheel design, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that you’ll one day see this amazing feat of engineering on the road one day.
The estimated starting price for the Samson Switchblade is $170,000, and Samson has already taken 2,300 customer reservations across 57 different countries
One thing worth noting, however, is that the Samson Switchblade is being marketed and sold as an experimental aircraft that requires a substantial amount of home building before it can be considered road/air worthy. But if customers don’t have a suitable workplace to work on the Switchblade, Samson has stated that they will have a Builder Assist Center staffed with competent supervisors, as well as all of the necessary tools to get the job done within a week. In other words, some assembly will be required, but Samson will help facilitate the process.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a Samson Switchblade for a Fast and Furious style heist, you may want to reconsider because shifting between driving and flying modes isn’t an instantaneous process. The current working prototype of the personal aircraft takes about three minutes for its tail and wings to fully reveal themselves from the vehicles undercarriage to be ready for flight.
Operating the Samson Switchblade will require some foresight and planning as well. It goes without saying that you can’t just fly around willy-nilly because you’ll need 1,100 feet of runway to successfully take off, meaning that you can’t simply fly your way out of gridlock on your morning commute. Though we’re not sure what kind of licenses customers will need to operate the Switchblade, it’s been made very clear that multi-mode trips will require customers to plan their travels around airports so they can successfully lift off and safely take flight.
The estimated starting price for the Samson Switchblade is $170,000, and Samson has already taken 2,300 customer reservations across 57 different countries, so it’s clear that there is a considerable demand for the hybrid vehicle despite its hefty price tag.
As of this writing, we’re not sure when the Samson Switchblade will be available for purchase, as production prototypes are still being developed. But after being deemed airworthy by the FAA last year, it’s apparent that Samson Sky CEO Sam Bousfield is ready to meet customer demands, and transform the way we look at personal transportation forever.