In a groundbreaking moment at the Grant County International Airport in Washington, the Samson Sky Switchblade, hailed as a “flying sports car,” soared through the skies in its inaugural flight. CEO Sam Bousfield’s dream of creating a transformative vehicle that blends road and air travel took flight after 14 years of design and testing, marking a significant milestone in revolutionizing personal transportation.
Test pilot Robert Moehle, excited to be the first to pilot the Switchblade, shared his experience of its flawless handling during the maiden flight. The Switchblade, priced at an estimated $170,000, has generated considerable buzz with 2,300 reservations from 57 countries. It is designed as a street-legal three-wheeler, categorized as a motorcycle in many jurisdictions, and offers the convenience of driving on roads or taking to the skies. Bousfield envisions a seamless transition from home to airport, where owners switch from road mode to flight, taking off on their aerial journey.
Despite its remarkable speed capabilities—exceeding 125 mph on land and reaching 200 mph in the air—the Switchblade demands about three minutes to transition between car and plane modes. The wings must lock into place, and the tail extends and unfurls during this transformation.
Powered by a hybrid system running on regular 91-octane pump gas, the Switchblade boasts an impressive 500 miles of range from a 36-gallon fuel tank. This innovation aims to turn 10-hour road trips into a swift three-and-a-half-hour journey from door to door.
While the Switchblade’s first flight is a significant achievement, the road to mass production lies ahead. Samson Sky plans to leverage data gathered during the flight test to finalize production engineering and build prototypes. Challenges in scaling up production are acknowledged, but the company remains optimistic about meeting the enthusiastic demand for this innovative vehicle.
Owners will play an active role in constructing their Switchblade, which is categorized as an experimental/home-built aircraft. Samson Sky plans to streamline this process with a Builder Assist Center, allowing owners to complete over half of the assembly in just a week under expert guidance.
As the Switchblade takes its first flight, it propels the future of personal transportation, blurring the lines between road and sky.