science

Japanese ‘flying car’ with one person aboard takes off

A manned flying car SD-03 is seen during a test flight session at Toyota test field in Toyota, central Japan.

  A manned flying car SD-03 is seen during a test flight session at Toyota test field in Toyota, central Japan.

The decades-old dream of zipping around in the sky as simply as driving on highways may be becoming less illusory.

Japan’s SkyDrive Inc, among the myriad “flying car” projects around the world, has carried out a successful test flight with one person aboard.

In a video shown to reporters on Friday, a contraption that looked like a slick motorcycle with propellers lifted 1-2 meters off the ground, and hovered in a netted area for four minutes.

Tomohiro Fukuzawa, who heads SkyDrive’s effort, hopes “the flying car” can be made into a real-life product by 2023, but acknowledged safety was critical.

“Of the world’s more than 100 flying car projects, only a handful has succeeded with a person on board,” he said. “I hope many people will want to ride it and feel safe.”

(Agencies)

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