Malaysia is not particularly a pro when it comes to making cars. To put it bluntly, their National car isn’t the sharpest tools in the tool shed. But how bad it is? Well, lets just say that former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson had no good words for them and even caused a furore by smashing one up with a sledgehammer. In all seriousness though, it is not beyond redemption. At least the Wira was kind of OK, but still, I won’t trust them to come with a “flying car.” Just saying…
A while back, Malaysian Minister of Entrepreneur Developer surprises the world with the news that the country is developing its own flying car. Fast forward to last week’s Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA), the host country brought to the table a flying car prototype… model. No, it wasn’t even a full-scale mock up, but it was enough to raise eyebrows and not in a particularly good way. It has a name though. It is called “Vector.”
Not to put down the country’s effort, though, Vector does have a sleek two-seater body and looks like each passenger will have a tablet computer of sort. Like so many such human-carrying drones, it has a quad rotor setup. However, that was what bothers us: the quad rotors are fully encased. Under normal circumstances, we have no issue about it, except that the top and bottom grill have an uncanny resemblance to those cheap electric table/floor standing fans common around S.E. Asia. The body and the rotors’ enclosure looks like they are from two different worlds.
Apparently, the company behind it is no small fly. The brainchild behind Vector is the international drone-based managed solutions provider Aerodyne Group. While the government calls it a ‘flying car’, Aerodyne Group cleared the air saying that it is not a flying car per se, but it is a large drone designed for ferrying people, cargo and even for surveillance purposes.
Anyways, this drone will be able to carry a load of 150-200 kilograms (330-440 lbs) and fly around 50 meters (164 feet) above the ground at up to 60 km/h (37 mph). The flying vehicle’s onboard lithium battery system affords it with between 30 and 90 minutes of flight time, according to a report. Aerodyne Group claims that a Vector prototype will be ready to take to the skies as soon as June this year. About that, think we will just take that claim with a grain of salt.
It was March when it took to LIMA to show off the scale model and June is just less than 3 months away. As such, I have doubt it could be done in such a short time. But we shall see. At this point, it is projected that the vehicle will cost one million Ringgit (about US$244,500) to build. However, the final price has yet to be determined. In any case, Vector is reportedly not for consumers to buy and so, how much it will cost is non-consequential. It will probably be use as ride hailing vehicle.