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For the past few years, a future filled with flying cars has seemed like a concept just beyond our reach. But modern technology is edging ever closer to the Jetsons. In the spring of 2020, Pete Bitar of Electric Jet Aircraft and Carlos Salaff, who’s worked in the automotive industry, teamed up to form Urban eVTOL. This project, which is focused on producing consumer-ready flying cars, recently won the 2021 NASA HeroX Award for its innovations in aviation tech. And this week Urban eVTOL unveiled the plans for the LEO Coupe, a genuine flying car modeled after sleek hypercars. The LEO is fully electric and powered by clusters of jets held within the wings so, unlike helicopters, there are no exposed rotors/blades. The LEO makes use of the same technology that propels Bitar’s personal jetpacks at Electric Jet Aircraft. After testing, Urban eVTOL projects the LEO could reach 250 mph flight speed and an hour of flight time on a single charge. Based on initial details, it’s clear Urban eVTOL envisions the LEO as personal aircraft – potentially functioning as an air taxi or even as a quick, efficient emergency response vehicle. The interior can hold three people (the pilot and two passengers) and early renderings suggest the LEO will feel like a futuristic luxury car. Surprisingly, Urban eVTOL has estimated a price tag of $300,000. That’s serious change but it makes the LEO Coupe relatively accessible. With flying demonstrations set to take place in the next year and certification planned for 2023, the LEO Coupe likely won’t hit the market for another 5 years. So start saving now.

ROBOROCK IFTO

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