SpaceShipOne designer unveils new flying car

Burt Rutan, founder of Scaled Composites (the company that is busy bringing you commercial trips to space), has just retired. But before he did, he presented one last novel design: a flying car.

For the near future, it's looking more and more like flying cars are going to have some trouble getting out of the "drivable plane" category, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be awesome to have one. Rutan's Model 367 BiPod is a gas-electric hybrid vehicle that boasts a totally respectable range of 760 miles in the air and 820 miles on the ground, all on only 18 gallons of fuel.

The BiPod operates much like the Chevy Volt, in that it's got a gas engine (or two, actually) that do nothing besides run generators provide power to the electric motors and batteries (most which have yet to be installed). On the ground, you drive the car from the left pod, and then switch over to the right pod to get airborne. And if you're wondering how it's drivable, the outer wings pop right off and can be stashed in between the two pods, making the BiPod small enough to fit into a one-car garage.

bipod2.jpg

Unfortunately, the only way you're likely to see a BiPod in your driveway is if Scaled Composites manages to find a partner to produce the design, since they're "not in the business of building roadable aircraft, or kits." Rats.

Scaled Composites, via Wired

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