The Flying Car! And, Minneapolis is a Charmer!
Heading home after a super duper holiday near Lake Superior we stopped to visit friends Steve and Dixie. We had originally planned to create a picnic for them, but they had something better in mind for us.
We parked our car at a Walmart parking lot near their home, canines all squared away, and they picked us up for an fast and furious afternoon. We toured their home and then walked across the street on a floating sidewalk across a pond to a farmer’s market. After purchases, we snacked on Dim Sum and then headed for downtown Minneapolis.
We had no idea that greater Minneapolis-St. Paul included 3.8 million people. We thought it was about the size of the Kansas City area, 1.8 million. Once you get on the highways, you know that the population is big! We parked in a restored manufacturing area with loads of restaurants that faced the Mississippi River.
I guess I really had not thought of sharing OUR Mississippi River in St. Louis with Minneapolis.
What a treat to see the downtown area and to walk across the Mississippi on an old brick and beautiful railroad bridge. Clouds threatened us but the rain was kept away by all the sunshine coming from our guides. Sadly, the day had to end and we headed home toward Kansas City.
I think we might have stayed longer at our campground but it was a holy hell mess. When we pulled into our spot, there were tons of people camping in pop-ups and tents right at our door. Tom said it looked like Woodstock. In all of our 35 camping years, we have never seen such a packed campground. We visited the same campground last year in September and it was so beautiful and quiet. It looked like there were as many as 30 people at each site. Who was counting them?
We called around to determine if there were any other places we could camp in the Minneapolis area. They were all booked on a Saturday, and Walmart is not a place where we camp!
Steve is a Business Development Guy for the State of Minnesota. On one of his recent international trips with Dixie, he had the opportunity to see the future. They were given a tour of the new Aeromobil. Since Tom and I are not going to visit this area of the world any time soon, I asked Steve to write about his adventure. The following was written by Steve. Dixie took all the photos. I am also providing a link for you to Aeromobil itself.
“When visiting Bratislava, Slovakia in July, we were visited the showroom of Aeromobil, creator of a flying automobile. Normally, they don’t give tours, but a friend helped to open the door for us. While it sounded at first like science fiction, Aeromobil is quite serious.
The company is made up of top engineers from the automotive and the aerospace industries, many of whom we met and chatted with. They have no illusions about their vehicle replacing ordinary cars. Their target market is financially comfortable flight enthusiasts who wish to drive their plane off the tarmac onto the highway.
The actual Aeromobil is dazzling up close. It’s loaded with one-of-a-kind innovations, such as, ultra-light-weight materials, and it just looks cool. When transitioning to a driving mode, the rear-mounted propeller simply folds up and the wings gracefully fold inward, all of which were demonstrated for us.
The cockpit/cabin is fairly simple, with seemingly fewer gauges and controls than the average small plane. That’s in part because of the advanced automation–they are already preparing for the driver-less car technology to come. I don’t think that included pilot-less flight, but who knows?
Interested in buying one? Next year, they will hire a sales team to offer the Aeromobil at $1.3m-$1.6m each. Deliveries are a couple years later. I won’t be buying one, but I will remember fondly my chance to sit behind the controls.”
The Aeromobil would have really shortened our commutes to work. Mine was 70 minutes and Tom’s was 50. And, instead of meeting for dinner in Lees Summit, we could have gone to Jefferson City or who knows where?
As always this blog is copyrighted by Marla J. Selvidge.
Next installment will cover all the hoopla at Wayside Waifs recently.