November 10, 2023
The maiden flight of a “flying sports car” took place in Lake Moses, Washington, this week.
The Samson Sky Switchblade took off and flew at an altitude of 500 feet and the prototype test vehicle flew for nearly six minutes before landing.
"After 14 years of design and rigorous testing, our first flight is a huge milestone,” said Sam Bousfield, Samson Sky CEO and designer of the Switchblade. “This puts us on the path towards producing thousands of Switchblades to meet the large and enthusiastic demand we’re receiving.”
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 production prototypes
The vehicle has a hybrid electric system that uses unleaded gas. The vehicle can be fueled at a gas station.
Samson Sky said they have received 2,700 reservations from people in 57 countries and all U.S. states to purchase the $170,000 Switchblade.
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.
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 will require a Private Pilot Certificate.
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