Depending on where you live in the world, storing your aircraft can vary greatly in price. In some places, renting a hangar is a very expensive proposition.
Recently, at AirVenture, in Oshkosh Wisconsin – the world’s largest aviation celebration – I spoke to some pilots regarding aviation expenses in their country. Now, I had already heard of people in the San Francisco CA area paying $1,000/month to house their small plane. That is about 5x what the average hangar rental price is in Central Oregon. But I was shocked when some pilots from Portugal told me they typically pay the equivalent of $60 USD/day to tie down their plane at a local airport or $1,800/month for a hangar. That’s $21,600 per year – just to hangar a small aircraft. Then on top of that you’ve got fuel, insurance, maintenance, etc.
What if you had a flying car that easily fit in your garage? As an example, in driving mode, the Samson Switchblade is a little over 16 ft. long and 6 ft. wide at the widest point. This is slightly longer than a Toyota Camry but the same dimension in width. With a Switchblade, the wings swing in and are fully contained beneath clamshell doors in the belly of the vehicle. The tail retracts and folds up against the rear of the body, out of harms way.
I spoke with one pilot from Canada who currently pays $600/month for a hangar. When he realized how much could save, he concluded that when it came time to buy his flying sports car, he would either pay cash or simply get a loan and make $600/month payments.
Having no hangar fees is only one of several cost savings one gains with a flying car. Automobile gas (which the Switchblade uses) can be 40-100% less expensive than aviation gas. In some European countries, aviation gas sells for $10/gallon (translated into USD). Then of course, with a flying car you don’t need to deal with rental cars, which can cost hundreds of dollars for even a few days. With a flying car you have your car and your plane with you at all times.
Additionally, you save time, eliminating the hassle of having someone drive you to the airport and pick you up, or driving yourself and finding a safe place to park your car. Of course these aren’t the only reasons you might want a flying sports car – but they are worthy of note.
– Martha Hall Bousfield