Photos by Matus Bence
Is it a car? Is it a plane? Is it a kinetic sculpture? It’s AeroMobil – The luxury vehicle that takes you from your driveways to the airways. Venü correspondent Glenn Merlin Johnson visits with CEO and Chairman Patrick Hessel to discuss the ultimate experience and freedom of transport at your disposal.
GMJ: Nature has always dictated man-made design. What was AeroMobil fashioned after?
PH: We used to travel on horses and then moved to automobiles. Humans are bound by gravity to be on the earth’s surface and have always aspired to fly and inspired by birds because it seems counterintuitive for us to be moving in a three-dimensional space. Our inspirational development came from the Greek mythological creature of the Pegasus that moved on the earth and the heavens. It was a fantasy image based on our accomplished ideals in how the future car could operate both on the ground and in the air. Otherwise, many airplane designers and engineers look towards nature –butterflies, dragonflies and insects. It’s quite fascinating to create what seemed impossible, possible.
GMJ: I read on your website that the Aeromobil is suitable for learning pilots. Is that correct?
PH: Just as the fabled wing-tailed horse, we say that Aeromobil is suitable for the learning pilot because it’s primarily designed for safety and flight stability. You need a Private Pilot License (PPL), a standard certificate required to operate a small aircraft. For those who already hold a license, you just need a few hours of special training to be operational and navigate the flying car safely.
GMJ: With the initial rollout of hundreds of vehicles in 2023 does the approximately base package of 1.7 million purchase include training, and where would the training take place? If I were to order one, how would that work?
PH: Training comes with your purchase and takes place in different continents both in Europe and in the United States. Primarily, America is our target market, with Florida being of important significance due to the number of aviators and California just as pivotal. We’re looking forward to having partnerships in these regions.
GMJ: How do you plan on going to market with your product? Will you sell directly, or will it be dealership-based?
PH: We plan on going through direct dealers who currently sell supercars, hyper-cars, exotic cars and airplanes. The exclusive demographic that they cater to targets the car enthusiast and aficionado who crave for an unforgettable storytelling experience. Initially, our prime consumers will be non-pilots. This usually doesn’t happen for airplanes.
GMJ: What’s the maximum flying distance of the vehicle?
PH: Give or take, we’re at 460 miles for single occupancy and 320 miles for dual occupancy.
GMJ: Tell us more about the uber-type four-seat opportunity.
PH: This is our second stage strategy approach in growing our business. We understand the need in the marketplace for both a sporty two-seater and a larger capacity sedan.
The latter will appeal to flying car customers looking for a larger vehicle, and will also serve as the principal “fleet vehicle” for our planned aerial limousine services, providing business class room and comfort whether on the ground or in the air.
A no hassle and worry-free experience lets you sleep and relax for three hours without changing the mode of transport or going in and out of airports uncomfortably and waiting on long lines for security checks, luggage drop-offs and pick-ups. Essentially, this will be a 24/7 operation that is not bound to pre-scheduled flights utilizing the aviation infrastructure of the 20K smaller airports with an affordable advantage and competitive edge over private jet companies. We’re looking at a 150-500 mile sweet spot in terms of range that sits right in between an automobile and a plane, where it usually would be too long for a car ride and too short for a plane trip. It’s a big-time innovation that takes you door to door at your convenience without having the bother of changing planes when there isn’t a direct connection. What could be better than being picked up in an exotic flying limousine, being airborne through town and driven to your front door? With a pulse on ride-hailing over the last ten years (when a rider “hails” or hires a personal driver that takes a direct route without stopping to their destination), it’s the perfect premium offer with a complex operating system that’s emotionally driven and designed for comfort rather than sport. We’re going to democratize a new age of driving and flying that revolutionizes the way we think about travel.
GMJ: Do you have to file a flight plan and in general what is the maximum altitude you can go?
PH: The Aeromobil can go up to 10k feet which is standard among smaller aircrafts. We have to abide by existing requirements in the different control zones, but you don’t have to file a flight plan. All you have to do is communicate with air traffic control. There’s an astounding autonomy about having this kind of flexibility.
GMJ: Who did the interior design of the AeroMobil?
PH: We work closely with our in-house team and external design houses. Our plan is to do some extraordinary fashion-forward collaboration that will impress upon the glamour and appeal of its exotic body style.
The Future is here with AeroMobil – Art never felt and looked so good! ☐