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Who Needs A VLJ?

by John M. White |  | 1 comment

For a number of years now the aviation community has been crowing about VLJs (Very Light Jets), some of which are still in development, some are already in the air, and some have already gone bankrupt. But the drumbeat for VLJs continues unabated. In a development William T. Piper could appreciate, a company in Medow Vista, CA has developed a flying motorcycle which requires both a motorcycle license and a pilot's license to operate. Samson Motors is developing an MMV, or a multi-mode vehicle part motorcycle and part airplane. Drive it to the airport, takeoff, fly 350 miles, land, fold the wings and drive to your destination - pretty cool, eh?
CEO Sam Bousfield said this in July about the Switchblade - "It has the power to weight ratio rivaling a Ferrari California, which means it goes like you-know-what." It is called a motorcycle because it has three wheel versus a flying car which has four wheels. Because it is a motor vehicle as well as an aircraft it will require emission controls in order to satisfy the EPA. Initially it will be offered in kit form for about $ 60K to which you need to add an engine and avionics, and of course you will need both a motorcycle license and private pilot's license to operate it. Check out the video from Airventure: There will be several engine choices, including a Lycoming O-320 or even a Freedom Motors Wankel rotary engine. You can find out more about the vehicle at "Switchblade". Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 Fly it until the last piece stops moving.

Comments (1)

  • Patrick Flannigan on June 24, 2019

    Now there’s a folding wing design I can get behind. I’ve not been a fan of the folding wing design that flying car manufacturers have been rallying behind. I just don’t feel comfortable with a jointed wing that folds up – in the direction of lift!

    With the Switchblade, it looks as if the wings are aerodynamically opposed to folding in flight, which means that even if a locking mechanism breaks, the plane isn’t going to fall out of the sky – I like it!

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