Aston Martin, Rolls Royce Developing Their Own Flying Cars
Could this be James Bond's next super-vehicle? Both Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce unveiled their own flying car concepts at the Farnborough Airshow this week.
Aston Martin, the British carmaker known for its luxury vehicles, is developing Vertical Take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles in partnership with Cranfield University and oddly enough, Rolls-Royce. These are just the latest companies to start their own ventures into the untamed space of personal aircraft — both Uber and Airbus are working on their own, "flying car" VTOL aircraft.
Named the Volante Vision Concept, Aston Martin's aircraft is designed to hold three people and is powered by a hybrid electric engine. It's designed to hit speeds of 200mph and will incorporate technology to allow it to operate autonomously
This won't be your commuter vehicle for the masses that other companies are pitching, but a "sports car for the skies" says Aston Martin's Director of Global Government James Stephens. It's not cheap either, with the company estimating the price to fall between £3-5 million ($3.9-6.5 million).
"Air travel will be a crucial part in the future of transportation [and] the Volante Vision Concept is the ultimate luxury mobility solution," Aston Martin President and CEO Andy Palmer said in a news release.
The team hopes to have the vehicle ready for Farnbourough 2020.
Rolls-Royce, the airline engine manufacturer, not to be confused with the car company owned by BMW, is developing its own concept vehicle. The aircraft includes enough space for five people and could cruise at a dashing 250mph for approximately 500 miles.
Like others, Rolls Royce will be an EVTOL vehicle that's "specially designed to have a low noise profile." The company says it will have a prototype in the next 18 months that could take to the skies by the early 2020s.
"Electrification is an exciting and inescapable trend across industrial technology markets and while the move to more electric propulsion will be gradual for us, it will ultimately be a revolution,” Rob Watson, head of Rolls-Royce’s Electrical team, said.