Founded on March 24, 2021, LuftCar's goal is to address climate change by providing hydrogen powered vertical and takeoff landing (VTOL) two-in-one autonomous air and road mobility vehicles to help drivers navigate quickly through cities, between cities and in rural areas with zero emissions. The company is actively applying for grants and angel funding and is based in Florida, USA.
LuftCar's goal is to help people to have easy access to both road and air travel and at the same time, to be able to do this without additional costly infrastructure that conventional airplanes require for air travel. The company has chosen a modular road and air vehicle, inspired by the flying car used by the villain Francisco Scaramanga, from the 1974 James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. While various flying car prototypes have been built since the early 20th Century, LuftCar would like to finally make a successful commercial production model.
The LuftCar is powered by hydrogen fuel cells and batteries and is a road drivable and VTOL air flying modular vehicle which transforms from a car to an aircraft by attaching a wing assembly to the top of the car. The vehicle seats four passengers, is flown autonomously, has a maximum flight speed of 217 mph (350 km/h), a maximum range (airborne) of 273 m (450 Km) and has a maximum altitude of 4,000 feet (1.22 km). The maximum range for the road vehicle is 150 m (241 km). The wing assembly can detach from the road vehicle in an open area, allowing the road vehicle to arrive at its final destination where aircraft can't land.
LuftCar expects their aircraft to be used for for advanced air mobility (AAM) within a city, between two cities and in rural areas. They could also be used for adventure tours, purchased for personal use, charted for personal luxury travel, used for scientific research and for government use.
The ground vehicle can also be used for cargo deliveries where the aircraft is flown autonomously to a vertiport and the road vehicle, the entire trip providing the last mile delivery saving 40% in costs and a 33% savings in time for any package delivery company, such as UPS or FedEx.
LuftCars are also suited for military logistical needs such as ship-to-ship cargo transfer and ship-to-shore air cargo service. The vehicle can also be used in combat zones where goods, medicine and medevac situations occur. The dual mode vehicle can also be used during peace time for a variety of situations.
The aircraft would also be a welcome tool for medevac and ambulance providers where bad roads or no infrastructure might hinder any rescue attempt.
The first prototype is expected to be built by the fall of 2022, a production prototype in 2023 and finally see the production of their vehicle by 2024.
Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL air and ground vehicle
Capacity: 4 passengers
Maximum cruise speed (air): 217 mph (350 km/h)
Maximum range (air): 273 m (450 Km)
Cruise altitude: 4,000 feet (1.22 km)
Maximum range (ground): 150 m (241 km)
Propellers: 6 propellers
Electric Motors: 6 electric motors
Power source: Hybrid-electric
Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
Windows: Panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left, right visibility, for spectacular views with a solid roof above the passenger compartment
Window: Canopy over cockpit
Wing assembly: 1 high wing with tricycle wheeled land gear allowing the wing assembly to stand alone when needed
Tail: 1 rear t-tail
Road vehicle: 4 road wheels
Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies in the sub-systems of the aircraft.
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