Do you remember your first car? Perhaps you saved up for it, or maybe your parents helped you buy it. Many young people simply use their family car. My husband’s first car was actually a motorcycle, which was great for getting to and from school as well as accessing rough dirt roads for trout fishing on weekends.
When we have teenagers and their parents visit our Samson Switchblade booth at aviation events or tour our hangar, we sometimes hear a very unique and excited question: “Dad, can my first car be a Flying Car?!” This last week I heard a variation on the question, that started with “Mom, …”. Before you write this off as a crazy idea, let’s take a look at a few things.
A number of non-pilots, who’ve been dreaming for years of having a truly practical flying car, tell us that they are getting their pilot’s license so they can fly their Switchblade. Some of them are even doing pilot training at the same time as their teenagers. My kids are all grown now, but I vividly remember the teenage years and how concerned I was that they learn to drive safely and be competent drivers. Pilot training takes discipline, it takes practice, and in my opinion it builds confidence. When you’re done, you know you can fly safely and you’re responsible for your aircraft. It’s an incredible accomplishment – far greater than learning to drive a car.
With a Switchblade Flying Car you and your teenager could go to the Samson Build Center, work together with the pro team, and complete your aircraft in as little as 3 weeks. If you’ve ever done a big project or built something with one of your children, you know the potential for bonding that you can create by working together. Plus it should be very interesting and fun.
Helping build the family’s flying car would be a big contribution to the family and would enable the young person to exchange with his parents, if they’re the ones paying for the vehicle. Speaking of price, a brand new Switchblade, with all the creature comforts of a very nice car, is priced at about 1/2 or even 1/3 the price of a new 2 seat aircraft that has similar capabilities, but few of those nice car amenities.
If your teenager is serious about getting a pilot’s license and you want to support this goal, building a kit aircraft can be a smart way to go. If you already have an adult pilot in the family, your flying car can make flying incredibly more useful and economical for you. You park it in your garage (no hanger fees), you always have your wheels with you (no rental cars or being stranded), and it uses automobile gas (not expensive aviation gas.) You always have the option to fly or drive so you’re never stopped, not even by bad weather.
Now, I’m not saying this plan is for everyone. But perhaps it will make sense to some of you and maybe even get you thinking about the pros and cons. And at the very least, you won’t be caught off guard if your teenager asks you this burning question someday…
– Virginia Hall
2 Comments Add yours
My grandson and I will be building my Switchblade; maybe two grandsons depending on the schedules. What a gift of flight to give to family members. A truly life altering experience!
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I like the idea of sharing the build and ownership with a friend. Aircraft clubs are the established way to divide ownership. I’m in a club now and it’s nice to have good company and help. Each member (2 in my case) pays a set fee for routine expenses and an add on fee for hours flown by that member. The Switchblade build could be shortened and planes are rarely overused. I fly a lot with my other club member. Having a copilot is great. Who knows, maybe SAmson can even help pilots find club member, to make ownership less expensive.
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