WEIRD STUFF! A MOTORCYCLE THAT FLIES OR AN AIRPLANE THAT’S A MOTORCYCLE?
THE SAMSON SWITCHBLADE USES SCISSOR WINGS IN THE AIR, THEN FOLDS THEM TO DRIVE ON THE HIGHWAY
The revolutionary Switchblade three-wheeled “Flying Motorcycle” is the first vehicle to meet the growing demand for flying cars and roadable aircraft. Usingÿ scissors wings and a torsion bar lean system, the new Switchblade offers motorcycle simplicity, economy and excitement – blended with the versatility of being able to fly and drive.
The wings swing closed under the belly of the vehicle, protected from road grunge and rock dings by a clamshell case and a structural keel that takes impacts. Sporting a three-surface design, in which all wings lift, drag is reduced further by the fact of needing less wing. The Ferrari-inspired clean shape is slowed on landings by Fowler flaps. The vehicles still boasts a 23′ wingspan. The tail telescopes backwards for flight, and remains tucked in tight to the body during ground use. Samson gives preliminary specifications for the Switchblade that include maximum speeds of 95 mph (ground) and 140 mph (air), a range of 500 miles (ground) and 220 miles (air), a 10.1 US-gallon fuel capacity including reserve and a 55 mph stall speed. Larger rear wheels are located aft to provide room for the main wings to swing closed, thus the nose lifts five degrees for takeoff attitude ? you literally fly the plane off the runway without rotating!
Partnering with Samson in the project is Swift Engineering of San Clemente, California. Swift is experienced in both race-car and aircraft design, and was involved in taking the Eclipse 400 jet from initial design to flying prototype in only eight months.
The proposed engine is a 120 hp Freedom-motor twin-rotor unit with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with forward, neutral, reverse and flight mode. The estimated speed is 90 mph on wheels and 134 mph in the air.