You read the headline correctly, Scaled Composites has built a new hybrid vehicle called the Bipod that doubles as a car and an airplane, or maybe an airplane that double as a car. In any case, the new innovation was designed around two pod-like cars that can drive on freeways, around cities, and even be stored in oversize garages, but also fly at speeds reaching 200 miles per hour.
In truth, the vehicle isn’t much of a hybrid, as the majority of the propulsion system is based around two internal combustion engines. However, there is a lithium-ion battery that is used to power the craft during takeoff, as well as back-up energy source if needed in an emergency situation.
According to the company, the Bipod has a 700 mile range and benefits from the hybrid system due to the distributed propulsion, potentially lighter weight, and energy recovery.
At this point, the vehicle is only in the prototype phase, but testing has been positive, says Scaled Composites, which plans to continue stability testing, as well as try new powertrain systems for efficiency. The airplane seems to be farther along that many of the solar airplane projects we’ve covered recently, but then again, it is using fossil fuels.