Switchblade, the flying car concept developed over the last 14 years, flew for the first time Thursday according to a YouTube video posted by the company. The aircraft, which is powered by a hybrid electric drive system that supplies power to the pusher prop in the air and the wheels on the road, did at least one loop around Grant County Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, and went as high as 500 feet in its six-minute maiden flight, according to the company’s news release accompanying the video. The company did not describe the flight characteristics observed in the brief hop.
“This puts us on the path towards producing thousands of Switchblades to meet the large and enthusiastic demand we’re receiving,“ company founder Sam Bousfield said. Switchblade claims to have 2,300 “reservations” for the two-place vehicle. The prospective orders come from all over the world so Switchblade will be available in left- and right-hand drive. Wings and tail fold and tuck into the fuselage to make a street-legal vehicle that can be driven to the airport and transformed into an airplane. The company is projecting a cruise speed of about 160 MPH and a range of 500 miles with two people and “smaller travel bags.” The gas generator runs on any grade of unleaded automotive gasoline.