We recently saw Malta’s first delivery by drone take place between Malta and Gozo, providing an alternative to traditional delivery methods. How soon, however, could we truly see flying vehicles that can then be transformed into road-worthy ones?
Meet the BMW-Powered AirCar
The AirCar is fitted with a 160HP BMW engine with a fixed-propeller and a ballistic parachute. In the latest test, the two-seater vehicle reached a 170km/hr cruising speed, though the max is estimated to be 190km/hr. As part of the manoeuvrability testing, the car has flown at 8200 feet and managed 45-degree turns.
Could it work in Malta?
Being the third prototype of this flying car, over 142 successful landings have been carried out, across over 40 hours of fly time. Stefan Klein, the creator of this contraption, is now convinced that he can move past the concept stage and start thinking about production. The question we have, however, is whether it can work in Malta.
Given its flying capabilities and size, departure and landing will have to take place from runways, which already puts its use in Malta in jeopardy. Unless you’ve got a runway in your backyard, that is. It takes two minutes and 15 seconds to transform from aircraft to car after landing, where you should be able to drive right off, although considering runway locations in Malta, you’ll probably get stuck in traffic anyway.
Also, given the size of the island, all of Malta is designated airspace, as we found out when it came to permit laws for drone flights. That means that prior to taking off, you’ll probably need to obtain a flight permit, and you’ll have designated takeoff and landing times.
However, to fly above the island with the window down and relieve yourself from the heat during the commute might make it all worthwhile. Until then, we’ll just have to be patient.
What needs to be done to solve the traffic problems in Malta?