Minnesota Embraces Flying Cars: A New Era of Transportation?
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Minnesota Embraces Flying Cars: A New Era of Transportation?

Mr. Bousfield, a fourth-generation Californian, graduated with honors from California Polytechnic State University in 1979. He later pursued post-graduate studies in marketing and business management. Collaborating with Boeing engineers, he developed the Samson Sky Switchblade to revolutionize transportation.
  • Minnesota is the second U.S. state to legalize flying cars or roadable aircraft.
  • The Samson Sky Switchblade features Skybrid, an advanced hybrid electric propulsion system.
  • More companies like Terrafugia, PAL-V, and Alef are entering the flying car market, boosting innovation.

Recent laws in Minnesota are helping flying cars become a reality. Governor Tim Walz signed a comprehensive transportation bill that includes rules for roadable aircraft, like the Samson Sky Switchblade. This big step shows that flying cars are being taken seriously and could soon be a part of how we get around on land and in the air.


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Roadable aircraft or flying cars, a niche yet hopeful part of the wider aviation field, blur the conventional boundaries between ground and air transportation. These electric vehicles are defined as airplanes that can travel on roads to and from airports or private landing strips, blending automotive and aerospace engineering. Minnesota is now the second state in the country to pass laws making it easier to register and use roadable aircraft, following New Hampshire’s “Jetson Bill” in 2020. This opens the door to a new era of transportation with multiple modes of travel

Central to this legislative milestone is the collaboration between industry stakeholders and governmental bodies, highlighted by the significant role of Russell Bousfield, the legislative analyst at Samson Sky. Bousfield’s testimony before the Minnesota Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee highlights the focused efforts to gain support and push for the adoption of regulatory frameworks that support the growth of roadable aircraft.

Minnesota Embraces Flying Cars A New Era of Transportation - Samson Sky Switchblade owners

Stressing the wider societal advantages, Bousfield confirms, “It was also great to see independent interest for using roadable aircraft for business and travel in Minnesota.” These endorsements highlight the increasing acknowledgment of flying cars as practical solutions to tackle modern transportation issues.

One significant aspect of this legislative progress is its potential to spark a chain reaction throughout the United States, as indicated by Bousfield’s statement that Samson Sky will “continue to propose and support similar legislation across the U.S.” This proactive approach highlights the crucial need to cultivate a regulatory environment that supports innovation and market growth in the roadable aircraft sector.


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In addition to progress in legislation, the technological advancements showcased by the Samson Sky Switchblade signify a large shift in personal air transportation. Making its debut flight in November 2023, the Switchblade brings forth an innovative hybrid electric propulsion system, utilizing unleaded auto gas for improved efficiency and accessibility. Named Skybrid, this innovative system represents the integration of sustainability and performance, solidifying the Switchblade’s position as a pioneer in the field of flying cars.

Minnesota Embraces Flying Cars A New Era of Transportation - Samson Sky Switchblade cockpit interior

The Switchblade goes beyond just propulsion, showcasing its versatility as a dual-mode vehicle that effortlessly transitions between driving and flying configurations. With a range of up to 500 miles on a single tank of gas, the Switchblade perfectly combines practicality and performance, meeting various travel requirements effortlessly. As articulated by Samson Sky, “The Switchblade is the first truly practical flying car made for everyday use.”


DimensionsDetails
Seats2, side-by-side
Estimated MGTOW1,850 lb / 840 kg (Max. Gross Take-Off Weight)
Estimated Payload575 lb / 260 kg (people, bags, fuel)
Length (ground mode)16.8 ft / 5.1 m
Length (flight mode)20.2 ft / 6.2 m
Vehicle Width6 ft / 1.8 m
Height5.1 ft / 1.5 m (top of body)
Wing Span26.9 ft / 8.2 m
Wing Loading27 psf/132 kg/m2
Fuel Capacity36 gal. including reserves / 125 L

Looking to the future, forecasts suggest a growing landscape marked by the arrival of more players in the roadable aircraft and flying cars sector. Companies like Terrafugia, PAL-V, and Alef are set to begin production of flying cars in 2025, promising a surge of innovation and competition that will drive the sector forward. Importantly, Samson Sky’s reservations from over 50 countries highlight the worldwide appeal of roadable aircraft, highlighting the universal nature of the ongoing shift in mobility.

The Switchblade’s estimated price starting from $170,000 and its inclusive Switchblade Kits, which incorporate the Samson Builder Assist Program valued at $20,000, offer buyers an opportunity to engage in the manufacturing process while enjoying a simplified and automated assembly process.


PerformanceDetails
Maximum Airspeed200 mph / 305 kph
Cruise Speed160 mph / 257 kph
Max Driving Speed125+ mph / 201+ kph
Maximum Range450 miles / 724 km
Take-off Distance1,100 ft / 335 m
Landing Distance700 ft / 213 m
Stall Speed (w/ flaps)67 mph / 108 kph
MileageDetails
Fuel economy (ground)~33mpg / 14 kpL
Fuel economy (in air)~9.5 gph / 36 lph
Type Fuel91 Octane Automobile gasoline
EngineSamson 190 hp liquid-cooled 3-cylinder with Skybrid Technology

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IMAGES: SAMSON SKY

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AUTHOR: 

RANDI BENTIA

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