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December 15, 2023
The developer of a “flying sports car” has been granted a patent for its wing-swing design, the company has announced.
Samson Sky, the maker of the high-performance Switchblade, was granted the patent by the European Union, bringing the number of patents to six for the Oregon company.
To fly the switchblade, the wings swing out and the tail extends in fewer than three minutes for takeoff from a local airport, according to the company. It can travel at speeds up to 200 mph and up to 13,000 feet and requires a landing distance of 700 feet.
"Having these design patents on the wing-swing is a vital safeguard for Samson,” said Sam Bousfield, CEO of Samson and designer of the Switchblade. “Being able to retract the wings and tail into the vehicle, fully protecting them while driving, is key to what makes the Switchblade truly practical for everyday use. No other flying car has ever had that feature."
The prototype test vehicle took off and flew at an altitude of 500 feet and the craft flew for nearly six minutes before landing.
The vehicle can be registered as an Experimental Category aircraft and as a custom motorcycle or kit car on the ground, depending on local regulations.
On the ground, the three-wheel vehicle has a top speed of 125 mph with a maximum range of 450 miles.
The Samson team plans to use flight test data to finalize production engineering and build several prototypes.
The vehicle has a hybrid electric system that uses unleaded gas, and it can be fueled at a gas station.
Samson Sky said it has received more than 2,700 reservations valued at more than $5 million from people in 57 countries and all U.S. states to purchase the $170,000 Switchblade.
The vehicle needs to be flown under Visual Flight Rules (VRF) or can be customized for pilots certified to fly under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).
Flying the vehicle would require a Private Pilot Certificate.
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Editorial Director AI & IoT
Chuck Martin, a New York Times Business Bestselling author, futurist and columnist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost emerging technology experts in the world and his latest book is titled "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis). He also is the author of "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things). He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the adoption of emerging technology.
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