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"Flying cars" to take flight in two years

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A model of Moller's Autovolantar.

LONDON (PTI): Flying cars may soon leap from the world of science fiction into reality, if automobile engineers are to be believed.

A team at Moller International is designing a flying car, called 'Autovolantor', based on a £ 200,000 Ferrari 599 GTB model, which it claims would be in the market in just two years' time.

According to them, the vehicle will have the ability to take off vertically and hover, thanks to its eight powerful thrusters which direct air down for take off. Vents then tilt so the car can fly forward. The flying car is expected to be able to do 100 mph on the ground and 150 mph in the air. The calculated airborne range is 75 miles and ground range is 150 miles.

Chief Designer Bruce Calkins said the flying car 'features a specially designed hybrid fuel and electric system to power the thrusters, creating as much as 800 horse power' and it would be able to fly at altitudes of up to 5,000 ft.

"The Autovolantor is powered by eight fans mounted in the fuselage of the vehicle. On the ground these fans push the vehicle around with a firm but not-too-powerful thrust of deflected air. Small vanes in the exit area of the ducts can direct the air forward or back, or remain in the neutral position for vertical take off and landing," he said.

"Once in the air the vehicle manoeuvres like a helicopter, tilting nose down to move forward, rolling right or left for changes in direction. While maximum altitude could be much higher, the energy to obtain altitudes above 5,000 ft would be significant and so we expect it to stay below that height," Calkins was quoted in The Daily Telegraph.

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