The Terrafugia Transition shown below is a two-passenger roadable aircraft from Woburn, Massachusetts. Powered by 100-hp Rotax 912iS four-cylinder; hybrid-electric motors in drive mode. Requires sport pilot’s license. Full airframe parachute. Runs on automotive gas. Maximum airspeed: 100 mph. Now part of the Chinese conglomerate that also owns Volvo and Lotus.
The AeroMobil (above) is a roadable aircraft from Bratislava, Slovakia. Internal-combustion boxer engine with FADEC digital-control unit. Hybrid-electric front-wheel-drive system. Full airframe parachute. Folds from plane to car in 3 minutes. Expected availability: 2020–2021.
Aston Martin Volante Vision
Three-passenger, hybrid-electric, fully autonomous eVTOL. Developed in cooperation with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and Rolls-Royce aviation. Expected performance: Boston to New York City in one hour.
Airbus (A3 Vahana) Alpha One
Single-passenger, self-piloted eVTOL. Eight 60-hp 45-kW motors on forward- and rear-tilt wings. One-third of vehicle mass is batteries. Ballistic parachute rated to work even at low altitude. Demonstrator vehicle expected by 2020.
Boeing (Aurora) PAV eVTOL
Two-passenger, fully autonomous eVTOL. Designed for urban flights of up to 50 miles. First test flight was on January 22, 2019, in Manassas, Virginia. Possible forerunner to future Uber Air vehicle.
Two-passenger, fully autonomous or pilot-flyable eVTOL from Germany. Granted certification and executed manned flights starting in 2016. Powered by nine high-capacity batteries feeding 18 electric drives. Range of 17 miles at cruise speed of 43 mph. Max speed of 62 mph.
Two-passenger roadable aircraft developed in Redmond, Oregon. Powered by 190-hp liquid-cooled 1.6-liter V-4 engine. Private pilot’s license required. Maximum airspeed: 200 mph. Max road speed: 120 mph. Range: 450 miles. Expected cost: $120,000 for basic build-it-yourself kit.
Single-passenger eVTOL from China. Said to be world’s first passenger drone. More than 1,000 test flights conducted in last three years at heights up to 1,000 feet. Rated payload: 220 pounds. Charge time: 1 hour.
Palo Alto, California-based startup funded by Google co-founder Larry Page. Single-seat eVTOL. Fixed tandem wings, joystick fly-by-wire controls, capable of fully autonomous flight. Cruising speed: 62 mph. Range: 25 miles. Predicted cost when in full production: the price of an SUV.
World’s first “electric jet” VTOL, from Gilching, Germany. Being developed under the auspices of the European Space Agency. Five-seater with rechargeable ducted-fan engines (435 hp), fly-by-wire joystick control (requires sport pilot’s license). Expected cruising speed: 250 mph. Since 2018, Frank Stephenson (former design director for McLaren) has been head of product design.
Forty years in development, an estimated $150 million of investor money spent, and still not one of Canadian engineer Paul Moller’s prototypes has ever flown in free, untethered flight.