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Car Takes Flight

LIFTOFF A pilot takes a flying car on a four-minute test drive. THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN—AP

Flying cars are no longer a dream of the future. SkyDrive Inc., in Japan, announced on August 28 that a pilot had successfully flown one of its cars. There are more than 100 flying-car projects in the world, according to Tomohiro Fukuzawa. He leads the SkyDrive effort. But “only a handful has succeeded with a person on board,” he says. SkyDrive’s vehicle flew about six feet off the ground and can hover for up to 10 minutes.

The company’s goal is to get flight time up to 30 minutes. Fukuzawa wants a flying car for sale by 2023. He thinks it will sell for at least $300,000. He says a less expensive vehicle could be ready by 2030. For now, testing will continue. “I hope many people will want to ride it and feel safe,” Fukuzawa says.