Futurists have been writing about flying cars for at least 70 years.
Larry Neal has been working on one for 12 years and his first version – the Super Sky Cycle – went on sale at Sun ‘n Fun in April. It is the first time in history that a truly roadworthy aircraft – one that can be parked in a garage and flown just about anywhere – has gone on the market. His flying car comes later.
It’s a kit, but Neal’s Super Sky Cycle can be yours for $24,995 complete with everything but fuel and oil.
Neal always has said that a flying car, or even a flying motorcycle, should be “an aircraft that can be driven on the road, not an automobile that flies.” The Super Sky Cycle is a roadable rotorcraft that will fit in your garage. The patented design lets its driver disengage the propeller, fold the rotor over the top and ride down the road as a street-legal, three-wheel motorcycle after flying through the air as a gyroplane. The Super Sky Cycle is based on Neal’s earlier Monarch gyroplane.
The proposed follow-on is a two-place, enclosed “flying car,” which is designed as a 110 mph vehicle, initially with a 190 hp engine. Like the Super Sky Cycle, it will be built and licensed as an Experimental aircraft and, because it has only three wheels, also can be licensed as a homebuilt motorcycle, Neal said.
All of Neal’s gyroplanes feature low thrust lines and low centers of gravity, for safety and ease of handling. They utilize his patented G-Force landing gear, which he has been demonstrating at Sun ‘n Fun for several years. It easily absorbs vertical descents of up to 700 feet per minute, more than any aircraft outside the Navy can claim. Other features include a clutch system that stops the propeller and transfers power to the rear drive transmission for driving down the road.
A lot of people talk about point-to-point aircraft, Neal said. He points out that his concept enables true point-to-point transportation, combining very short takeoff and landing capability with roadability. “You can have fun flying, drive your aircraft home from the airport, or wherever you can land it, and even commute to work,” he said.
“A gyroplane-based flying car is a natural choice,” Neal said. “It’s very safe and can’t stall if you get too slow. It will float down slower than a parachute with the engine turned off, and land in a very small spot with the pilot in complete control.”