A number of "carplanes" have recently appeared on the market or will be appearing soon. The purpose of this site is to contrast and compare these vehicles and to provide the latest information on each. It is an unbiased site that is not funded by any of the manufacturers.
Edited by Jeffrey W. Buckholz, PhD, P.E., PTOE
Last 3 Updates:
10/16/18 Updated carplane spreadsheet information. Added a discussion of the Jetsons under FAQ's. Added information on Air Taxi involvement from Joby, Boeing, Terrafugia and Kitty Hawk's Cora. Added a video showing the February 2018 crash of a SkyRunner carplane. Expanded the discussion of an Ideal Carplane to include the "restricted airspace" problem. Replaced TF-X information with TF-2 information for Terrafugia's future vehicle. Added an introduction to the Nirvana Autogyro.
1/24/18 Updated carplane spreadsheet information. Added a new page entitled DRONE TAXIS. Added information on the SureFly personal VTOL quadcopter, the Lilium tilt-wing VTOL vehicle, and the "Passenger Drone". Also added information on a new online course in autonomous aerial vehicle design.
5/5/17 Updated carplane spreadsheet information and added an introductory paragraph on new Aeromobil and Pal-V developments. In the What's New Section added information on a Czech Gyroplane/Carplane, the Airbus POP UP modular drone, CityHawk Air Taxi, Singapore Flying Taxi, Italian 2-person drone, and two animated videos showing various person-carrying drones. Updated Aeromobil and Pal-V in the manufacturer's section.
Beginning in 2018, the online school Udacity is offering online certification in the design of autonomous aerial vehicles. Aerial Robotics and Intelligent Air Systems are the two 12-week courses currently being offered.
A March 2017 article in Flying Magazine describes how a pilot in the Czech republic has made his Gyroplane road-capable by adding an electric motor that can power the gyroplane along roadways at up to 24 mph. A poor man's Pal-V.
A March 2017 animated video shows the POP UP vehicle that is being envisioned by Airbus. A passenger pod is transferred between a drone that carries it through the air and a chassis that transports the pod along the highway. An interesting idea and the closest a drone system has gotten to functioning as a true carplane does.
The same Israeli group that developed the Cormorant (previously known as the Air Mule) is developing this civilian transport vehicle. Still just a series of sketches at this point but this has delivered in the military arena with the same ducted fan technology as the base.
A July 2016 Wall Street Journal article describes the quest to develop "self aware" airplanes that can think for themselves. "A self-aware plane is able to monitor the condition of the plane and its operation as well as what’s going on in the environment around it and then tie all that information together to make decisions about how to operate the plane safely. A self aware aircraft would be able to adjust its flight plan to respond to problems and anticipate new ones ahead, ranging from technical malfunctions onboard to adverse weather and emergency situations. "
Japan is working with a host of companies including Uber, Boeing, Airbus, Japan Airlines and Toyota to advance the carplane industry in that country. “The Japanese government will provide appropriate support to help realize the concept of flying cars, such as creation of acceptable rules”
Here are links to videos showing recent carplane crashes. Sometimes you get cut on the cutting edge!