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Flying cars turned out to just be small airplanes

The flying cars we were promised by all those 20th-century sci-fi writers are finally here, but they don’t look like they did in The Jetsons or Back to the Future. In fact, they look a lot like small airplanes—but we’ll take ’em for now. A new electric-powered airplane debuted today over the skies of Fresno … Continue reading “Flying cars turned out to just be small airplanes”

Flying cars turned out to just be small airplanes
[Photo: courtesy of Sustainable Aviation Project]
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The flying cars we were promised by all those 20th-century sci-fi writers are finally here, but they don’t look like they did in The Jetsons or Back to the Future.

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In fact, they look a lot like small airplanes—but we’ll take ’em for now.

A new electric-powered airplane debuted today over the skies of Fresno County, California, becoming the first of its kind in the area and sparking what could evolve into a new era of zero-emission air travel. The aircraft was one of four electric planes ordered by cities in the area, the Fresno Bee reports, and were supplied by the Sustainable Aviation Project.

Pipistrel, the Slovenia-based manufacturer behind the light-sport planes, designed them for flight training, which is how they’ll be used in Fresno. The arrangement is a test case for how electric air travel could work at scale, aided by Tesla-like charging stations placed in local airports.

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What really caught my attention, though, was the Bee’s description that the planes are “small enough to fit in a home garage.” For anyone who grew up believing we’d actually have flying cars in our garages by now, that’s just a tease. But it’s part of a real trend nonetheless. Last year, the electric-powered Lilium Jet made its maiden flight over the skies in Bavaria.

You can check out the embedded video below:

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine

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