FLYING cars are tipped to be the way of the future – but will they ever actually take off?
A number of companies have claimed they will have a market-ready flying motor in the next few years, and one is even due to be ready by next year.
The cars of the sky are already being tested around the world with major names like Airbus, Audi and Porsche getting involved.
A number of companies have already produced prototypes to fine-tune the technology before motorists can get behind the wheel – or wings.
But it hasn’t always gone to plan, with cases of flying cars crashing becoming more frequent.
If they do ever make it to mass market, these are the models most likely the lead the charge – and you’ll likely need a pilot’s licence to own one.
Having been available for purchase since last year, Pal-V’s Liberty car reappeared at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.
Taking just 10 minutes to convert from driving to flying mode, the hybrid can reach a top speed of 100mph on the ground.
Capable of carrying a pilot and one passenger, buyers can pre-order one of the futuristic motors now for a sizeable £444,000.
The company hopes to be able to begin delivery of pre-ordered cars in 2019 – which would make it the first market-ready flying car in the world.
Built by Slovak pioneering company AeroMobil, the vehicle was first revealed as a concept in 2014, and was tipped as the world’s first production flying car.
Fully functional as both an aircraft and a four-wheeled car, it’s powered by hybrid propulsion, with wings sweeping back against the body when the vehicle is in driving mode.
In 2015 while out testing the tech, inventor Stefan Klein was forced to deploy a parachute and crash-land in a field when something went wrong.
The AeroMobil is currently available for pre-order with a price tag of around £1.15million, with deliveries due in 2020 – but you’ll need a pilot’s licence to fly one.
British firm VRCO is developing the NeoXCraft which will be able to travel by air, road and water.
The two-man vehicle could reach airborne speeds of up to 180 knots – equivalent to 210 mph – and fly for up to an hour at between 1,000ft and 3,000ft.
The firm hopes the £1.5m luxury-styled vehicles will be in commercial production by 2020.
One of the models already available for use by the public, the SkyRunner uses a giant fan and gliding parachute to get it off the ground.
Resembling an off-road buggy, the SkyRunner, which is popular among Hollywood celebs, is powered by a 115bhp engine.
It is capable of flying at 10,000 feet, with a 36-knot cruising speed and 120-mile range.
According to the manufacturers, the flying car is easy to operate, using a throttle pedal to climb and descend, while two flight controls direct whether the car veers left or right.
Just last month, the flying motor was involved in a shocking crash at a Dubai runway.
Launched at last year’s Geneva Motor Show, the Pop.Up is the product of a collaboration between Airbus, Audi and Italdesign.
It was the first modular electric vehicle to be released that can travel on both land and through air, with additional propellers added to help it fly.
The two-seater vehicle is capable of a vertical take-off or landing when attached to the flight propellers, and it is capable of travelling for 62 miles on a single charge.
The Pop.Up system is expected to launch between 2024 and 2027.
The US-based company actually produced one of the first examples of a flying car back in 2009: the Terrafugia Transition.
But following a number of licencing issues, the vehicle’s production stalled, leaving it behind the rest of the field.
More like a road-worthy plane than a flying car, the Transition looks like a small aircraft, with its wings able to fold away for road driving.
The company claims models will be available for purchase in 2019, but it seems unlikely.