As the world’s economies seek economic growth and jobs, emphasis is increasingly placed on the key role played by innovation. A recent Washington Post op-ed by Fareed Zakaria noted, “Innovation is partly about entrepreneurship but also about technology.” And there are some, such as billionaire Peter Thiel, who argue that, despite the hype, we don’t actually live in innovative times. Thiel, of Founders’ Fund, his venture capital firm, put it pithily, “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters,”referring to Twitter.
Friends of Slovakia is proud to announce that not only do we now have a flying car, but it’s designed and manufactured in Slovakia! FOS has recently been in contact with the Slovak firm, Aeromobil, which has designed and built a prototype of a road vehicle with flying capability. We are procuring a scale model of the vehicle and will be sponsoring its display for the next three years as part of a traveling exhibit aimed at promoting aeronautical technology to young people and the public. This project presents an unusual opportunity to showcase the technological potential of Slovak firms and to promote Slovakia generally. FOS board member, Richard Marko, is coordinating the project, and we will be reporting on details as the project gets underway in the months to come.
Aeromobil is a Slovak firm co-founded by Stefan Klein, chief designer of the vehicle, and Juraj Vaculik, who serves as Aeromobil’s CEO. Klein has spent the past twenty years pursuing his dream of designing a flying car, resulting in the latest prototype, Aeromobil 3.0. He received a degree from the Slovak University of Technology in 1983 and has studied design in France as well. He has led research projects for a number of companies resulting in the development of several commercially successful products. Juraj Vaculik has a background in theater studying at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. He was a key figure in the student movement during the Velvet Revolution from which a democratic Slovakia emerged. He subsequently founded a highly successful advertising firm that worked with many global companies. In 2010 Juraj co-founded AeroMobil and manages the company as its CEO. He also acts as an angel investor with investments into successful start-up projects in media content, IT and alternative transport sectors, throughout Europe and the US. You can view the flying car at Aeromobil’s website, www.aeromobil.com .