In the Mikawa district of Japan, a small group of young, talented automotive engineers have started working to develop a flying car under the banner of Aichi Prefecture.
The project awaits completion till 2020 and the aim is to develop a vehicle that van prove useful during natural disasters such as earthquakes. The recent earthquakes in Kumamoto made the group realize even more potentially the utility of their aim.
The 31-year-old group leader, Tsubasa Nakamura fervently remarked “We hope to complete it and get it ready for use as soon as possible.”
Interestingly, the automotive group has already managed in finishing the design of the 30cm *60cm prototype and have even done multiple tests in the open ground of a vacated elementary school located in the city of Toyota. Not only this, a full-size prototype has also been made.The propellers on the one hand raised the flying machine nearly 3 meters above the ground and on the other also raised debris of sand and pebbles due to their impact.
The original craft would be nearly five times as large as the prototype which is actually a remote-controlled modified drone and is a mini-version of the original model. Made in carbon-fiber plastic that is three-wheel car is equipped with a motor along with a tetra-propeller-system at each of the three corners.
The financial aid for the developmental work is being given to the group by the Tokyo members of Aichi Prefecture. He had also formed a group of 20 members originating from Aichi, Tokyo and Shizouka prefectures and fondly termed it as CART!VATORS as early as 2012 to work on the project.
Group Leader Nakamura, A Passionate Creator
Mikawa provides a very suitable grounding and infrastructure for development of flying car.
“There are many engineers here and Mikawa has a great environment for creating new products.” remarked Nakamura who had been fond of cars since his childhood and had been involved in a project on developing racing cars during his years of being a mechanical engineering student at the Kieo University.
His passion to design led him to develop a flying car prototype that used toy-propellers in an attempt to make a “new form of car” for upcoming generation in a separate misadventure. He raised a significant ¥ 2.6 million through crowdfunding and working in collaboration with a Kyoto engineer managed to raise a prototype by the end of 2015. The prototype hovered to 1 meter level above ground despite the fact that it was built up with aluminium that made its weight 180 kg. Replacing with CFRP as the building material would nearly reduce the weight by 80 kg and enhance its flying capacity.
Nakamura is very excited about his project and sad that the main feature of the vehicle is its ability to VTOL capacity. The one-seater car is equipped with a steering wheel, gas pedal that helps it to be driven like a normal car. Nakamura feels that the main utility of the developed vehicle would be as rescue vehicle during earthquakes and natural disasters when the roads and land paths become blocked with fallen trees and collapsed bulidings. “A flying car will be able to help quickly with the rescue mission and delivery of supplies,said Nakamura while speaking on the issue, “It’s an important technology that can save lives, so I hope to get this finished as soon as possible,” he further added.