Flying Cars! We interview one of the minds behind Milner's AirCar

We wrote about this flying car last week, and some of you wanted more information. Fortunately, we were lucky enough to run into Chris Milner, the younger half of the father-son team that runs Milner Motors, yesterday at the New York Auto Show. It turns out that the AirCar is not just a plane that can drive around. Quite the opposite: it's a lightweight fully-featured car that can compact to be about the size of a Hummer and fit in a garage. Soon it will transform into a flying car. The photographs below are of a prototype that can drive but can't fly, but the company hopes to get it off the ground and onto the market within the next two years. Click Continue to read more about the AirCar and about Milner Motors's second most ambitious project: the ElectriCar.



Chris Milner said, "My father had a lifelong dream of building a flying car as the ultimate time saver." Milner's father, John Milner, is a retired airline pilot. Both he and his son have been building model airplanes for years. When asked whether this plane would be safe (since it looks like a car, it doesn't appear to be particularly safe for flying), Milner explained that Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) doesn't have "crash worthiness" requirements for planes of this size. In fact, car regulations, to which the AirCar will also have to adhere, are far more stringent. Because of this Milner expects that the AirCar will be "safer than similarly-sized planes like the Cessna."

In addition to the flying car, Milner Motors is developing a hybrid electric car based on the light frame and chassis of the AirCar. According to Milner, "Three years ago we realized that we could take the wings and propellers off [the AirCar] to make a light, efficient electric car." While the AirCar is expected to cost half a million dollars, the ElectriCar will cost only $40,000. The company hopes to have both models on the market in two years (but is more optimistic about the ElectriCar). The company boasts that the electric model will get more than 100 MPG.

We wish the company luck. John Milner isn't the only person who'd like to see a flying car on the road/in the air sometime soon. Imagine motoring to the airport, flying to Florida and driving off into the sunset: all without having to leave your seat. Of course, you'd have to know how to fly a plane first: this isn't Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.