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Tonight on Samson Sky’s latest episode of “Flying Groundbreakers,” we witnessed the triumphant maiden flight of the Switchblade, the road-legal flying car that goes from zero to airborne in a mere three minutes. Hosted by the clouds of Washington State on November 9th, 2023, this spectacular event unfolded at the renowned Moses Lake Airport, a haven for aviation enthusiasts and test flights alike.
Despite the cloudy weather and tranquil winds, the Switchblade soared to new heights, reaching an altitude of 500 feet. In an exhilarating flight around the airport and foothills, the Switchblade showcased its aerial prowess for an impressive six minutes before safely touching down. This groundbreaking achievement not only marks a significant milestone for Samson Sky but also assures eager future owners that the road-legal flying car is well on its way to reality, with approximately 2,300 reservations pouring in from 57 countries.
Now, let’s delve into the technical wizardry that propels this marvel. The Switchblade, equipped with a hybrid electric system, boasts a top driving speed of 125 mph (201 km/h) and an estimated flight speed of 190 mph (305 km/h). What’s even more remarkable is its fuel flexibility, running on unleaded auto gas instead of the traditional leaded aviation fuel, allowing owners to refuel conveniently at any auto gas station.
The Switchblade’s avant-garde design, inspired by a switchblade, didn’t come to fruition overnight. Samson Sky collaborated with the brilliant minds at DAR Corporation in Lawrence, Kansas, to meticulously craft the wings, tail, and fuselage. Rigorous wind tunnel testing at the University of Washington’s Kirsten Wind Tunnel validated the aerodynamics, resulting in over nine patents issued or pending globally for this road-legal flying car.
Taking the Switchblade on its maiden flight was none other than seasoned pilot Robert Moehle, with an impressive background in flight testing with The Boeing Company. His 2,400 flight hours across 56 different aircraft types, both commercial and experimental, lent invaluable insights during the Switchblade’s research and development phase.
Reflecting on the 14-year journey of designing and testing, Sam Bousfield, the visionary CEO and designer of the Switchblade, expressed his excitement about reaching this pivotal moment. The data gathered from this inaugural flight will now propel the project towards finalizing production engineering and building several production prototypes. Bousfield envisions a future where thousands of Switchblades take to the skies and roads, meeting the enthusiastic demand from a captivated audience.
In an exclusive interview with designboom, Bousfield shared his unique approach to Switchblade’s design, emphasizing high performance in both driving and flying modes while maintaining affordability and ensuring practicality for everyday use. Drawing inspiration from luxury automotive icons like Lamborghini and Ferrari, he navigated the delicate balance between emotion, aerodynamics, and functionality.
As Samson Sky’s CEO continues to rewrite the narrative of personal transportation, he envisions a world where flying cars are not just a dream but a reality accessible to all. With the Switchblade’s Production Engineering phase underway, Bousfield and his team are on a mission to redefine how we commute, travel, and experience the thrill of the skies and roads in perfect harmony.
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