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Great Scott! NSW grants $950k for flying car testing facility

written by Adam Thorn | July 9, 2020
Flying car NSW Narromine announcement © Salty Dingo 2020 CG-028040 2
This model represents what AMSL Aero’s new flying car will look like (NSW)

Science fiction could well become reality after NSW revealed it is to spend $950,000 on a “state-of-the-art” testing facility for an electric flying car it hopes will revolutionise regional Australian travel.

The facility in Narromine, near Dubbo, will test AMSL Aero’s new vehicle, which is driverless, can carry six people and fly at speeds of up to 300km/h.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said, “Imagine the convenience of having a flying car land in your suburb when you need to travel to a regional destination that is not serviced by an airport?

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“It sounds like science fiction but the reality is a future where this is possible, practical and affordable is not that far away.”

Australian company AMSL Aero’s so-called ‘Vertical Take-Off and Landing’ vehicles (VTOLs) are entirely battery-powered and can take off and land like a helicopter from any helipad or ‘vertiport’. They have a top speed of 300km/h and can fly non-stop at up to 250km/h.

The new testing facility, which will open early next year, will be the first to be based at the new Narromine Aerodrome precinct, which was itself funded by a $750,000 state grant.

AMSL was founded by CEO and chief engineer Andrew Moore and Siobhan Lyndon, who leads business and operations.

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Moore has more than 20 years experience in the industry and started out as an engineer in the Australian Navy, while Lyndon spent the last 11 years working in senior roles at Google.

Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders said, “It’s fantastic to see businesses expanding and bringing job opportunities to the electorate of Dubbo, especially given the drought and COVID-19 has forced many locals out of work recently.

“We are a resilient bunch, we have a dynamic workforce here in Dubbo, and here is the perfect location for a company like AMSL Aero to expand and grow.”

Narrromine itself has a rich aviation heritage, and its existing aerodrome is considered the country’s gliding capital.

Nancy-Bird Walton, Charles Kingsford Smith and American pilot Chuck Yeager have all visited.

Its regional flying club was started in 1929 and pilots trained in Narromine during World War II.

“We are excited by the opportunity to use this grant to help us prepare for our upcoming launch and build essential testing facilities,” Moore said.

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

13 Comments

  • Will Small

    says:

    cant wait to buy one

  • AgentGerko

    says:

    Range would appear to be a problem. With a max of 250kms you wouldn’t even be able to fly from Sydney to their facility at Narromine. Major regional towns like Dubbo, Armidale, Albury, etc would all be out of range from Sydney.

  • Instead of an autonomous “flying car” , a nice two seat + baggage VTOL light aircraft powered by a conventional turbine or piston engine with distributed electric vertical propulsion would be nice. It would be far safer, and far more useful than the average light aircraft is today.
    Extend the concept from there. I think all electric and autonomous is several bridges too far in one leap.

  • So if you want to be a licensed pilot, you need to be painstakingly trained, but if we just call this product a “driverless” flying car (!?!), then for some reason that I suspect owes a lot to spin and marketing, no aviation knowledge or training will be required.

  • Stewart Wilson

    says:

    What a waste of NSW taxpayers’ money! Another flight of fancy paid for by us.

    • Linda Weaving

      says:

      Certainly would have been better to see the funds go towards paying the millions of people who missed out on JobKeeper because the government grossly underestimated the numbers in insecure work. Priorities.

  • Doug

    says:

    Stupidest notion in creation. Flying cars are a wet dream from comics. Just bcs we can make them doesn’t mean that they are a good idea in common usage and that soon “every home will have one for commuting”. Look how many cars are on a single freeway every morning. Half of the idiots on the road can’t drive without inattention every few seconds in just two diemnsions, without worrying about gravity and the implications of high-density three dimensional travel.

    Want to see the skies raining “flying-car” parts? Go right ahead. There are a thousand reasons a pilot undergoes weeks of training and aircraft are subject to engineeing, type, weight abnd balance and routine service certification.

    Further, the capacity to fly implies lightness which is incompatible with terrestrial use. Flying cars will always be a dangerous compromise. What next? Personal submarines?

    • Linda Weaving

      says:

      Good points!

  • Neil

    says:

    Let’s cut through the crap! These funds are for bricks and mortar that can be used even if this “dream” comes to nothing.
    The money isn’t going into product development.
    The real truth rarely gets in the way of John Barilaro who will win loose canon of 2020 hands down.

  • Linda Weaving

    says:

    Wow! Now that’s a positive step! (Although I’m still a little nervous at the idea of a driverless vehicle, whether on the ground or in the air). I bet they’re a lot quieter than other planes, too. Are they? Are they as quiet as an electric car? & no air pollution or smell! Imagine if Regional airlines had a fleet of these. They’d be able to serve hundreds more destinations! 👍

  • John Harrison

    says:

    Sounds like a “Pie in the Sky” Project to me ! Cannot even get Piloted “Flying Cars “ in the Air yet !

  • Murray Howlett

    says:

    Who is going to be responsible for weight and balance issues with these craft?

  • Ray Carter

    says:

    The great thing is that these things are pilotless so there will be no more “pilot error” each time one “lands” in the suburbs where previously it was frowned upon given the usual fatalities.

Leave a Comment to Neil Cancel

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Great Scott! NSW grants $950k for flying car testing facility

written by Adam Thorn | July 9, 2020
Flying car NSW Narromine announcement © Salty Dingo 2020 CG-028040 2
This model represents what AMSL Aero’s new flying car will look like (NSW)

Science fiction could well become reality after NSW revealed it is to spend $950,000 on a “state-of-the-art” testing facility for an electric flying car it hopes will revolutionise regional Australian travel.

The facility in Narromine, near Dubbo, will test AMSL Aero’s new vehicle, which is driverless, can carry six people and fly at speeds of up to 300km/h.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said, “Imagine the convenience of having a flying car land in your suburb when you need to travel to a regional destination that is not serviced by an airport?

Advertisement
Advertisement

“It sounds like science fiction but the reality is a future where this is possible, practical and affordable is not that far away.”

Australian company AMSL Aero’s so-called ‘Vertical Take-Off and Landing’ vehicles (VTOLs) are entirely battery-powered and can take off and land like a helicopter from any helipad or ‘vertiport’. They have a top speed of 300km/h and can fly non-stop at up to 250km/h.

The new testing facility, which will open early next year, will be the first to be based at the new Narromine Aerodrome precinct, which was itself funded by a $750,000 state grant.

AMSL was founded by CEO and chief engineer Andrew Moore and Siobhan Lyndon, who leads business and operations.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Moore has more than 20 years experience in the industry and started out as an engineer in the Australian Navy, while Lyndon spent the last 11 years working in senior roles at Google.

Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders said, “It’s fantastic to see businesses expanding and bringing job opportunities to the electorate of Dubbo, especially given the drought and COVID-19 has forced many locals out of work recently.

“We are a resilient bunch, we have a dynamic workforce here in Dubbo, and here is the perfect location for a company like AMSL Aero to expand and grow.”

Narrromine itself has a rich aviation heritage, and its existing aerodrome is considered the country’s gliding capital.

Nancy-Bird Walton, Charles Kingsford Smith and American pilot Chuck Yeager have all visited.

Its regional flying club was started in 1929 and pilots trained in Narromine during World War II.

“We are excited by the opportunity to use this grant to help us prepare for our upcoming launch and build essential testing facilities,” Moore said.

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

13 Comments

  • Will Small

    says:

    cant wait to buy one

  • AgentGerko

    says:

    Range would appear to be a problem. With a max of 250kms you wouldn’t even be able to fly from Sydney to their facility at Narromine. Major regional towns like Dubbo, Armidale, Albury, etc would all be out of range from Sydney.

  • Instead of an autonomous “flying car” , a nice two seat + baggage VTOL light aircraft powered by a conventional turbine or piston engine with distributed electric vertical propulsion would be nice. It would be far safer, and far more useful than the average light aircraft is today.
    Extend the concept from there. I think all electric and autonomous is several bridges too far in one leap.

  • So if you want to be a licensed pilot, you need to be painstakingly trained, but if we just call this product a “driverless” flying car (!?!), then for some reason that I suspect owes a lot to spin and marketing, no aviation knowledge or training will be required.

  • Stewart Wilson

    says:

    What a waste of NSW taxpayers’ money! Another flight of fancy paid for by us.

    • Linda Weaving

      says:

      Certainly would have been better to see the funds go towards paying the millions of people who missed out on JobKeeper because the government grossly underestimated the numbers in insecure work. Priorities.

  • Doug

    says:

    Stupidest notion in creation. Flying cars are a wet dream from comics. Just bcs we can make them doesn’t mean that they are a good idea in common usage and that soon “every home will have one for commuting”. Look how many cars are on a single freeway every morning. Half of the idiots on the road can’t drive without inattention every few seconds in just two diemnsions, without worrying about gravity and the implications of high-density three dimensional travel.

    Want to see the skies raining “flying-car” parts? Go right ahead. There are a thousand reasons a pilot undergoes weeks of training and aircraft are subject to engineeing, type, weight abnd balance and routine service certification.

    Further, the capacity to fly implies lightness which is incompatible with terrestrial use. Flying cars will always be a dangerous compromise. What next? Personal submarines?

    • Linda Weaving

      says:

      Good points!

  • Neil

    says:

    Let’s cut through the crap! These funds are for bricks and mortar that can be used even if this “dream” comes to nothing.
    The money isn’t going into product development.
    The real truth rarely gets in the way of John Barilaro who will win loose canon of 2020 hands down.

  • Linda Weaving

    says:

    Wow! Now that’s a positive step! (Although I’m still a little nervous at the idea of a driverless vehicle, whether on the ground or in the air). I bet they’re a lot quieter than other planes, too. Are they? Are they as quiet as an electric car? & no air pollution or smell! Imagine if Regional airlines had a fleet of these. They’d be able to serve hundreds more destinations! 👍

  • John Harrison

    says:

    Sounds like a “Pie in the Sky” Project to me ! Cannot even get Piloted “Flying Cars “ in the Air yet !

  • Murray Howlett

    says:

    Who is going to be responsible for weight and balance issues with these craft?

  • Ray Carter

    says:

    The great thing is that these things are pilotless so there will be no more “pilot error” each time one “lands” in the suburbs where previously it was frowned upon given the usual fatalities.

Leave a Comment to Neil Cancel

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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