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The New Arab Staff

Turkish drone company successfully tests flying car

The car is named after a 12th century Muslim engineer [Baykar/Handout/Getty]

Date of publication: 16 September, 2020

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Drone giant Baykar says it could still take as many as 15 years to see a flying car on the road.

A Turkish company has successfully tested its first flying car, drone giant Baykar said on Tuesday.

The prototype flying car, called Cezeri, was able to fly up to 10 metres (33 feet) high, Baykar said in a statement.

The manufacturer hopes the car could reach heights of 2,000 metres (6,562 feet or 1.2 miles) with a cruising speed of 100 kilometres (62 miles) per hour.

However, it will take at least 10 to 15 years to see a flying car on the road, CTO Selcuk Bayraktar was quoted as saying by state news agency Anadolu

The technology may make an appearance in rural areas - similar to regulations around quad bikes - in three to four years though, Bayraktar added.

"We will make more advanced prototypes in the upcoming process, and perform flights with a human [on board]," he added.

"After smart cars, the revolution in automotive technology will be in flying cars. So from this point of view, we are preparing for tomorrow's races, rather than today's."

The current protoype only has room for one passenger, Daily Sabah reported, but future versions will make room for more.

The flying car is named after Ismail Al-Jazari, a 12th century Muslim polymath credited with the invention of the flushing toilet and various sophisticated clocks and automatons. He is widely known as the father of robotics.

Baykar is Turkey's leading manufacturer of armed and un-armed drones, used by the Turkish military in operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Iraq and Kurdish-led forces in Syria.

The fast-growing domestic drone industry has also seen exports to Qatar and Ukraine. Turkish drones have also been reportedly used by Libyan government forces of whom Ankara is a key ally.

While flying cars are much-discussed in science fiction, one has yet to appear on the market. A number of companies across the world are developing flying cars, however, including Uber, Airbus, Chinese company EHang and Dutch manufacturer PAL-V.

Baykar's flying car protoype comes as part of a push towards indigenous vehicle production by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

Turkey's first domestic car will be produced by the end of 2022, Erdogan said earlier this year.

Ankara has also accelerated its indigenous fighter jet production after being booted from the US F-35 programme last year.

It hopes the Turkish TF-X jet can begin to replace the current squad of F-16s by 2023.

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