A flying car crashed during a test flight in Slovakia on Friday. The Aeromobil vehicle was piloted by Stefan Klein, a co-founder of the company. Klein was able to deploy a parachute for the vehicle, which is said to have cushioned the impact.
Witnesses near the Nitra Janíkovce airport described seeing the flying car go into a tailspin before the parachute was deployed. Klein was taken to the hospital and released without any serious injuries. However, the flying car wasn't so lucky. Judging by the photos taken at the scene, the vehicle sustained serious damage.
If the Aeromobil name sounds familiar, that's because it has been the Great Flight Hope of flying car nerds recently. The vehicle has been featured prominently in magazines and newspapers around the world, with promises that the flying car is now just around the corner. The company has even claimed that they could release the vehicle by 2017.
For what it's worth, the company is putting on a brave public face, saying that crashes are all part of the struggles to get experimental vehicles operational.
"The detailed data and overall experience from this test flight will be thoroughly analysed and the results will be used in the ongoing R&D and improvements of the prototype," Aeromobil said in a statement released yesterday.
"Testing of the current prototype 3.0 and further product development will continue after the replacement of the damaged parts."
It's unclear if this will impact the company's planned public release of the vehicle within the next two years. But honestly, we weren't holding our breath, even before this weekend's crash.
Below, a photo of what the Aeromobil flying car looks like when it's not all munted.
Image via Nitra