The Samson Switchblade, a three-wheeled vehicle that can transform into an airplane at the touch of a button, has successfully completed its first flight, marking a major milestone in the development of the flying car. The Switchblade soared to an altitude of 500 feet during its maiden flight at the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, on November 9, 2023. The flight lasted for about six minutes, and the pilot, Robert Moehle, reported that the vehicle handled great in the air.
The Switchblade is the brainchild of Sam Bousfield, the CEO and designer of Samson Sky, a company based in Oregon that aims to revolutionize personal transportation. Bousfield said that the first flight was the culmination of 14 years of hard work and persistence to make the vision of a flying sports car a reality. He added that he was thrilled to see his dream come true, and that the Switchblade was now on the path towards mass production and distribution.
What makes the Switchblade unique and appealing
The Switchblade is not just a flying car, but a flying sports car, as it boasts a sleek design, a powerful engine, and a high performance both on the road and in the air. The vehicle can accelerate to a top speed of 125 mph on the ground, and 200 mph in the air, with a range of 500 miles. It can also reach altitudes of up to 13,000 feet, and fly in different weather conditions.
The Switchblade operates as a street-legal three-wheeler, categorized as a motorcycle in many jurisdictions, which simplifies the licensing and registration process. Owners can drive the vehicle from their homes to the nearest airport, where they can switch to the flight mode in less than three minutes. The wings and the tail of the vehicle extend and lock into place, ready for takeoff. Upon landing, the owners can transform the vehicle back to the driving mode, and drive to their final destination.
The Switchblade also has a unique hybrid electric system, which uses regular unleaded auto gas rather than leaded aviation fuel. This makes the vehicle more eco-friendly and cost-effective, as it reduces the carbon footprint and the fuel expenses. The vehicle also has a spacious interior, with two seats, a luggage compartment, and a touchscreen dashboard. The vehicle comes with a variety of features, such as a rear-view camera, a GPS navigation system, a parachute system, and a voice-activated control system.
How to get your hands on the Switchblade
The Switchblade is currently in the final stage of flight testing, and the company expects to start delivering the vehicles to the customers by the end of 2023. The company has already received over 2,300 reservations from 57 countries and all 50 states in the US. The vehicle comes in a DIY kit form, which includes the engine, the transmission, the avionics, the interiors, and the Samson Builder Assist Program. The customers can assemble the vehicle themselves, or hire a professional to do it for them.
The Switchblade comes in two kit types, a $170,000 version that permits the pilot to operate in clear weather conditions, and a $190,000 version that can fly under different weather conditions, including into clouds and with zero visibility. The customers also need to have a private pilot’s license to fly the Switchblade, and the company offers training programs for those who want to learn to fly. The company claims that the Switchblade is the most affordable and practical flying car in the market, and that it will change the way people travel.