Commence holding breath: X-Hawk flying car could be here by 2010

The flying car is the equivalent of transportation's carrot on a stick. It's a concept that always seems to be 3-5 years down the road. According to an Isreali inventor named Rafi Yoeli, the flying car will actually be here by 2010 in the form of his X-Hawk. The X-Hawk uses a ducted fan design that allows it to have the same manueverability of a helicopter without exposed blades that prevent choppers from hovering near buildings and the like. Yoeli's own company, Urban Aeronautics, is developing the X-Hawk first as a workhorse vehicle that could be used by firefighters, rescue teams, and the military to aid in the recovery of people stranded in hard to reach places.
Like a helicopter, the X-Hawk can take off and land vertically, it will be able to fly up to 155 mph, reach an altitude of 12,000 ft and remain in the air for two hours. The size of the X-Hawks rotors, which are powere by four internal combustion engines, will be much smaller than a helicopters, which will make the vehicle quieter but also guzzle 50% more fuel. The X-Hawk only exists as a full-scale mockup right now, but Yoeli expects an unmanned Mule version to fly in 2009. A larger version capable of carrying ten people is also planned. The estimated price for an X-Hawk will make a Veyron owner blush: between $1.5 and $3.5 million, and Yoeli admits those estimates might be low.

At this point, we're prepared to pony up whatever cash is necessary to make the most famous example of automotive vaporware a reality. Check out more details on the X-Hawk after the jump.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

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