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Flying Vehicles Could Be On Their Way To New Mexico

A roadable aircraft being built by the company Samson Sky.
Samson Sky
A roadable aircraft being built by the company Samson Sky.

It’s not the Jetsons but an aviation company says vehicles that can both fly and drive on the road are no longer a fantasy but are a reality.

Oregon-based Samson Skyis the manufacturer of a combination motorcycle and aircraft that is currently under testing. The company is already taking orders for the Samson Switchblade that operates like a three-wheel motorcycle on the road and can quickly transform to an experimental aircraft that can take off from an airport.

Company officials presented their roadable aircraft to members of the Legislative Transportation Infrastructure Revenue Subcommittee on Monday at Spaceport America in Truth or Consequences.

Samson legal team representative Russell Bousfield told lawmakers the motorcycle planes as experimental aircraft will be built from a kit by the owner with the assistance of company staff.

“People like to put their aircraft together. They learn about it more. They maintain the engine. Some of these pilots do their work and they do get checked once a year. They go through a process where the aircraft is taken down and fully inspected by FAA certified mechanics,” he said. “As far as it affects registration, I don’t know if it really matters because once the aircraft has gone through its experimental construction basically it would be registered as any other aircraft.”        

The company is talking to New Mexico lawmakers and others across the country because since it’s a new type of vehicle it may need changes to current laws and vehicle registration requirements to be legally operated.

Bousfield says the company has already seen over 2500 reservations from people wanting to buy the roadable aircraft which start at $170,000. 

He says it will still be likely a few years before they win FAA certification and be able to sell them on the open market.                   

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.