Aeromobil are launching their "flying car" in 2022, after successful test flights.

What kind of license / certification will be required to own / fly one of these? Presumably something less than a PPL, otherwise the barrier to entry will be too high.

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    $\begingroup$ You realise companies have been promising flying cars in a matter of months since about the 1960's? Flying cars give you a terrible car and an even worse aeroplane - I can't see they will ever be viable. $\endgroup$ – Jamiec Nov 9 '20 at 12:11
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    $\begingroup$ I would think the estimated $1,500,000 USD price would be the main barrier. If you can afford a multi million dollar aircraft, you can certainly afford the time and money required to obtain a pilot licence. $\endgroup$ – Mike Sowsun Nov 9 '20 at 15:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Jamiec Fool on me for falling for that then :( You crushed my dreams :p $\endgroup$ – Cloud Nov 9 '20 at 16:05
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    $\begingroup$ @Cloud In my humble opinion I do not think you'll find a single pilot who would want a flying car. If I had 1.5M I'd buy a nice car and a nice plane. Not a bad hybrid! $\endgroup$ – Jamiec Nov 9 '20 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ Molt Taylor's Aerocar was FAA certified in the 50s. Like all the others, it was a crappy airplane and crappy car, rolled into one. Image you'd bought an Aeromobil. Do you think for a second you'd actually drive your delicate (by car standards) and expensive flower in traffic regularly, where the slightest fender bender grounds you? You'd have to be outttayerfreakinmind. Same with amphibious boats. Crappy boat, crappy car, all in one crappy package! These things only work when the dual capability is so important that it's worth living with the limitations. $\endgroup$ – John K Nov 9 '20 at 16:45

Short answer: You will almost certainly need a PPL at least.

On the subject of licensing for flying cars, nobody really knows, because no company has even come close to bringing one to market - and the term "bringing to market" for a flying car involves all the legalities of certification and licensing.

The U.S. based Chinese-owned firm Terrafugia and AeroMobil are also attempting to develop a two-seat flying car called the Transition, however, safety and development of the law for flying cars are just two of the challenges that must be met before they become a reality and not just a novelty. The Transition is designed to operate both on land and in the skies.

source: Aviation Law: An Analysis of the Development of Flying Cars for the 2020s Decade

In terms of aviation certification the Aeromobil specifications state

Aerospace: CS 23 Rev 5/ELA 1 (EU) & 14 CFR 23 Rev 5 (US)

That means for the US it is certified under Part 23 which will almost certainly need a minimum of a private pilots license. In the EU it is pretty much the same deal as many of the aviation standards/certifications around the world are based on ICAO norms.

Not that you asked for it, but in my opinion the only likely route to market for personal flying vehicles is ones where you're not doing the flying. One day I'm sure we'll have something like an automated Uber which ferries you A to B short distances. But something where you drive and fly is hugely unlikely.

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    $\begingroup$ At one point, before the acquisition by their Chinese parent company, Terrafugia had obtained an FAA waiver to allow a Light Sport license for the Transition, even though it was a couple hundred pounds over the normal weight limit. That craft has been redesigned at least once since then, however, so who knows if that will still hold if/when they manage to sell any of them. $\endgroup$ – Zeiss Ikon Nov 9 '20 at 12:49
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    $\begingroup$ @ZeissIkon indeed, in researching some material for this answer I read all about Terrafugia and how they had this flying car which you didnt need any license at all! It was from 2014. Still no flying cars. $\endgroup$ – Jamiec Nov 9 '20 at 12:51
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, "no license" was never going to happen, and pretty much everyone (except perhaps the aviation-ignorant public) knew it. It could never have been close to Part 103 limits, or even European Ultrlight category, and still meet highway safety requirements (well, perhaps as a motorcycle, if they changed to a tricycle layout). $\endgroup$ – Zeiss Ikon Nov 9 '20 at 12:53

In the eyes of the FAA, it’s considered an Airplane, Single Engine Land category and class of aircraft. There is no license required to own the vehicle in the United States, save from registering it in your state of residence.

If you intend to operate it an an aircraft and serve as pilot in command (PIC), you’ll need to hold, at a minimum, a Recreational Pilot Certificate with Airplane Single Engine Land ratings. This would allow you to at least fly the thing but imposes severe limitations on where and how you can travel in it. For any practical use of the Aeromobil as an aircraft, it is recommended that you hold at least a Private Pilot Certificate with Airplane Single Engine Land and Instrument Airplane ratings. This would allow for unrestricted operation of the aircraft as well an conducting Part 91 flight operation under IFR. You will also need to hold at least a Third Class Medical Certificate, or have held a valid FAA medical anytime after July 15, 2006 and conform to the guidelines of Part 68 for BasicMed.

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    $\begingroup$ Well, in that case, I can't see how it could ever replace the private car $\endgroup$ – Cloud Nov 9 '20 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ It’s not like the idea of flying cars are anything new. They have existed since around the 1930s. Every decade or so someone somewhere thinks they can reinvent the wheel. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Felicione Nov 10 '20 at 4:55

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