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“Great Jetsons!”: NSW grants AUD950,000 for flying car testing facility

Science fiction could well become reality after New South Wales revealed it is to spend AUD950,000 on a “state-of-the-art” testing facility for an electric flying car it hopes may revolutionise Australian travel, reports australianaviation.com.au. The facility in Narromine, near Dubbo, will test AMSL Aero’s driverless new vehicle, which carries up to six people and can fly at speeds of 300km/h.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro enthuses, “Imagine the convenience of owning a flying car when you need to travel to a regional destination that is not serviced by an airport? It sounds like science fiction, but this future reality which is possible, practical and affordable is not too far away.”

Australian company AMSL Aero’s so-called ‘Vertical Take-Off and Landing’ vehicles (VTOLs) are entirely battery-powered and can take off and land like a helicopter from any helipad or vertiport. The craft can fly non-stop at 250km/h.

The new testing facility, which opens early next year, will be the first to be based at the new Narromine Aerodrome precinct, which itself was funded by a AUD750,000 state grant.

AMSL was founded by CEO and chief engineer Andrew Moore and Siobhan Lyndon, who lead the company’s business operations. Moore has more than 20 years experience in the industry and started out as an engineer in the Australian Navy, while Lyndon spent the last 11 years working in senior roles at Google.

Moore commented, “We are excited by the opportunity to use this grant to help us prepare for our upcoming launch and build essential testing facilities.” And Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders added, “It’s fantastic to see businesses expanding and bringing job opportunities to the electorate of Dubbo, especially given the drought and the Coronavirus pandemic which have forced many locals to be out of work.”

Concluding, “We are a resilient bunch, we have a dynamic workforce here in Dubbo, and here is the perfect location for a company like AMSL Aero to expand and grow.”

Narromine has a rich aviation heritage, and its existing aerodrome is considered to be the country’s gliding capital. Nancy-Bird Walton, Charles Kingsford Smith and American pilot Chuck Yeager have all visited. Its regional flying club was started in 1929 and pilots trained in Narromine during World War II.

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