Aug 08, 2013
by D.S. EDWARDS CBN Feature Writer
If you are a fan of modern cinema you are no doubt familiar with futuristic Hollywood blockbusters like Total Recall, Back to the Future and Star Trek. Though these movies are purely fantasy, they are closer to reality than you might think because the next generation of inventor is poised to take the masses by the hand and lead them into a world where fantasy becomes reality.
One such inventor and visionary is Sam Bousfield, inventor of The Switchblade flying car.
If you just did a double take, and read the words “flying car” a second time, don’t worry. You are not crazy, and that was not an error that this paper will have to print a retraction for in the next issue. Some day you will be able to walk out of your house, get in your Switchblade, drive to the airport, unfold the wings, fly to Portland in under an hour, and do it for the same price the three hour drive would have cost.
The Switchblade is being developed and manufactured by Samson Motors Inc. They currently have around 15 people involved in their organization from designers to builders to administrators with business set up at the Crook County Airport.
Recently the ground prototype of the Switchblade was unveiled for a group of sixth to eighth graders as part of Central Oregon Community College’s continuing education, aviation program directed by Karl Baldessari.
“So if you’re driving, and traffic is bad, can you take off and fly over the other cars?” one boy asked. When most of us think about a vehicle like this, our eyes glaze over, and we take a moment to daydream like children. Our dreams however, like those of the team behind the Switchblade tend to be more practical in nature. We imagine the help these vehicles would bring to victims of a natural disaster. We imagine law enforcement agencies being able to patrol more effectively or the tactical advantage special ops military would have with these. We also think about the practicality of everyday use in our own lives. The team has thought about those applications as well.
“The Chinese government has been granted approval to fund the purchase of Switchblades to be used for emergency preparedness,” said Bousfield CEO of the Samson Motors. “The Switchblade is more practical than helicopters and other aircraft due to the capabilities of ground travel. We are also developing models for harsh climates. The Aurora model is being developed for colder climates such as Alaska. It will be equipped with a block heater, stiffer suspension and a tougher body. Another model will be adapted to harsh desert climates and will be equipped with a larger radiator and extra cooling capabilities.”
Some groups that might benefit from the Switchblade are Doctors without Borders, The Red Cross and Shared Hope International.
“One group that is interested in the Switchblade is the United States Border Patrol,” said Thomas Arbuckle V.P. of business development. “It will be a fraction of the cost of a helicopter and helicopters can’t continue pursuit once they are on the ground.”
“This is going to better society,” said Martha Bousfield, assistant to Sam and events coordinator.
“We will increase people’s freedom, allowing them to travel where they want and when they want,” she said. “One of the main things we are after is to make the Switchblade practical and affordable to the general public.”
The average price of a new luxury automobile in today’s market is around $50,000. That vehicle allows you to have a certain amount of freedom, and get you from point A to point B on our current highway system, but you are limited by the amount of time it takes you to reach your destination. Compare that to the Switchblade that will have a targeted starting price of around $85,000, and will allow the owner to cut travel time by two thirds.
“It is extremely important for this vehicle to be environmentally friendly,” said Martha. “The Switchblade is definitely a green vehicle. It will average 45 mpg on the highway and while in the air it won’t be releasing led into the atmosphere like traditional aircraft. It runs on regular gas.
“The Switchblade outperformed the Jaguar XK 8 in a standing start speed test. One buyer said that when he gets his Switchblade, he’s selling his Corvette.”
The applications and possibilities of this vehicle are endless, but since you are reading a business publication, we should explore the business application. In today’s business world, most of us don’t just conduct business in our own communities. We are selling our products and services to a larger area, sometimes several hundred miles away. With the increased cost of new government regulations like healthcare, the cost of fuel and other travel expenses, it is becoming more difficult to stay competitive in our current climate. The Switchblade will allow you to cut down on those travel expenses. Even if you are part of a company that owns your own aircraft, the Switchblade could prove to be a more practical choice than traditional aviation.
It runs on regular gasoline. It averages around 400 air miles on a single tank of fuel and around 700 miles to a tank on the highway. It eliminates the need for a rental car once you reach your destination and it could possibly cut out the cost of employing a pilot. With all these savings, companies could conceivably institute flight training and licensing programs for sales and customer service representatives. 40 percent of the cost of flight training is the aircraft rental. If a company owns a Switchblade, that cost is also taken away. The Switchblade is capable of having dual controls, which would make it a legal training aircraft.
The team at Samson Motors is constantly thinking of ways to improve this vehicle, and evolve with an ever changing world. The sky is definitely the limit when it comes to the Switchblade flying car.