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:
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 and .
3/21/17 Updated carplane spreadsheet information and added an introductory paragraph on passenger-carrying drones. In the What's New Section added a link to the Dubai Flying Taxi service and added information on the ZeeAero and Kittyhawk projects. Updated PD-3 in the manufacturer's section and expanded the write-up in the IdealCarplan section.
12/5/16 Updated carplane spreadsheet information. Added the Uber Elevate article, updated the Airbus Air Taxi article and the Chinese Drone article, and added the Flike to the pipedreams section.
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.
A January Associated Press article describes the world's first drone that is capable of carrying a person. The Ehang 184 electric powered autonomous flight drone can carry up to 220 pounds and fly for 30 minutes at a cruise speed of 60 mph with a range of about 25 miles. Not a very long time but it's a start in what could end up being a revolution in passenger transport. The price of the vehicle when it comes to market (and if and when the FAA permits its operation) is estimated at around $250,000. US testing of the vehicle is set to occur in the Nevada desert. UPDATE: Dubai plans on starting a flying taxi service using this drone during the summer of 2017! Who needs the FAA!
Singapore also Considering "Flying Taxis"
Singapore is considering an air taxi system using passenger-carrying drones. Various vehicles are being considered including a Russian passenger-carrying drone known as the Hoversurf Scorpion.
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.
An October 2016 article in Wired Magazine describes Uber's quest of an air taxi using Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL). "Within five years Uber expects the market to produce a fully electric, vertical-takeoff-and-landing plane that can fly 100 miles at about 150 mph, carrying multiple passengers and a pilot." Whoa, that would be something. And Uber thinks this whole flying taxi thing could be cheaper than driving a car! Read here.
A 3/8/17 article describes progress on these two flying cars from Google cofounder Larry Page. It sounds like the vehicle may end up being more like a person-carrying drone than a real carplane. A subsequent video in the New York Times shows a prototype of the Kitty Hawk Flyer. As suspected it is a person-carrying drone, not a carplane.
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. "
It appears that Airbus has beat Boeing to the punch in the race to develop affordable point-to-point air transportation. Although this air taxi will not be a true carplane because it does not solve the "drive through bad weather" problem (see the discussion under the IDEAL CARPLANE tab) it would be a major step forward in air transportation. They are looking to have something to sell by 2020. "Designed to carry a single passenger or cargo, the aircraft doesn't need a runway, is self-piloted, and can automatically detect and avoid obstacles and other aircraft".
Here are links to videos showing recent carplane crashes. Sometimes you get cut on the cutting edge!