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AeroMobil
AeroMobil

AeroMobil's Flying Car Could Land This Year

AeroMobil
AeroMobil

The flying cars of science fiction have always been a bit of a logistical nightmare: Vehicles in sky lanes zipping around, narrowly avoiding head-on collisions, and rarely meeting the ground. In other words, George Jetson probably would have needed some quality auto insurance.

The reality is still impressive, but a little more practical. This week, AeroMobil announced that their plainly named AeroMobil Flying Car—a small passenger plane that doubles as a street-legal vehicle—will be available for pre-orders beginning this year.

The four-wheeled plane (or winged car) has gone through several prototypes to get to a stage that AeroMobil says is in total compliance with current regulations for both aircraft and automobiles. A previous iteration used regular gas, could take off with 650 feet of airstrip, land on just 164 feet of strip, and reached speeds of up to 124 miles per hour. It also crashed during a 2015 test run in Slovakia. (The pilot, who deployed his parachute, survived.)

AeroMobil is keeping specs for their new, commercial version under wraps until April 20, when it plans on debuting the vehicle at the Top Marques Monaco industry trade show. The price is also TBD, but chief technical officer Doug MacAndrew told Business Insider last year that “it's not going to be cheap.”

[h/t Mashable]

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travel
This Hidden Button Gives You More Room in a Plane's Aisle Seat

If you prefer the window seat on planes, you undoubtedly have your reasons—the view, using the wall as a head rest, not having people climb over you to get to the bathroom. But an obscure button on the aisle seat armrest could make you rethink your seat selection.

Even frequent flyers may be surprised to learn that unlike the armrest closest to the window, the armrest next to the aisle isn’t actually fixed in place, even though it seems to be at first tug. As Time points out, there’s a button hidden underneath the armrest, near the hinge, that lets you lift it up. This will give you a little extra elbow room (but watch out for beverage carts).

While this tip should come in handy on long flights and when you get up to retrieve your bag from the overhead bin, the primary function of this feature is safety. It allows for "a quick and easy escape should you need to make an emergency exit from the plane," Time reports. Although, if few people know the button is there, its usefulness is rather dubious.

“I’ve been traveling pretty consistently for eight years, and not once on any plane has anybody actually said that you can use this to slide in and out much more comfortably if you’re on the aisle,” says vlogger Mike Corey. Watch Corey demonstrate how to operate the button in the video below.

[h/t Time Magazine]

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A New D.B. Cooper Suspect Has Emerged
FBI
FBI

The identity of skyjacker D.B. Cooper—a well-mannered passenger on Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305 who parachuted out of the skyjacked plane heading to Seattle in November 1971 with $200,000 in cash—has long intrigued both law enforcement and amateur sleuths. One theory posited that Cooper may have even been a woman in disguise.

In July 2017, the FBI officially closed the case. This week, they might take another look at their archival material. An 84-year-old pet sitter from DeLand, Florida named Carl Laurin has made a public proclamation that a deceased friend of his, Walter R. Reca, once admitted he was the country’s most notorious airborne thief.

The announcement is tied to the publication of Laurin’s book, D.B. Cooper & Me: A Criminal, a Spy, and a Best Friend. And while some may discount the admission as an attempt to sell books, the book's publisher—Principia Media—claims it vetted Laurin’s claims via a third-party investigator.

According to Laurin, he and Reca met while both were skydivers in the 1950s and kept in touch over the years. Reca was a military paratrooper and received an Honorable Discharge from the Air Force in 1965. Laurin suspected his friend immediately following the skyjacking since he had previously broken the law, including an attempted robbery at a Bob’s Big Boy restaurant as well as several banks. But Reca didn’t admit guilt until shortly before his death in 2014, when he handed over audiotapes of his confession and made Laurin promise not to reveal them until after he had passed away.

Principia Media publisher/CEO Vern Jones says he expects skeptics to challenge the book’s claims, but says that the evidence provided by Laurin was “overwhelming.” The FBI has yet to comment on any of the specifics of Laurin’s story, but an agency spokesperson told The Washington Post that “plausible theories” have yet to convey “necessary proof of culpability.” Nonetheless, someone at the Bureau probably has a weekend of reading ahead of them.

[h/t MSN]

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