Flying vehicle’s take-off not open to public

Aerodyne said Vector is expected to be airborne for 15 to 20 minutes during the maiden flight

Pic By BLOOMBERG

MALAYSIA’S first flying vehicle take-off, scheduled for tomorrow, will be a closed-door affair involving only guests invited by the company developing the technology, said Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof.

The minister on Monday had invited MPs to witness the maiden flight of the two-passenger air mobility vehicle or “flying car”.

When asked on details of the event at the Parliament lobby yesterday, Mohd Redzuan said the demonstration will not be held publicly.

“This is an initiative by young people to create an industry for others to follow. I don’t think I can disclose where it will be. It is a closed invitation on a private initiative by the company.

“They are looking to alleviate themselves to another level, to get capital, so I cannot get public perception to compromise their standing because they are en route towards success, so to speak,” he told reporters yesterday.

The government’s plan to launch a flying car has received mixed reactions since it was first announced.

Mohd Redzuan, whose ministry also oversees the development of the third national car, had earlier revealed that a prototype vehicle is expected to be unveiled later this year.

The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) had in May this year reported that Aerodyne Geospatial Sdn Bhd — the maker of “flying vehicle” Vector which grabbed headlines at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2019 — is gearing up for the unit’s first public test flight in December.

In an interview with TMR, Aerodyne founder and group CEO Kamarul Muhamad said Vector — which will be the world’s first urban air mobility development with interchangeable modules — is expected to be airborne for 15 to 20 minutes during the maiden flight.

Vector is designed to travel at least 60km, just enough to cover an area the size of the Klang Valley for cargo delivery and point-to-point transportation, Kamarul said.

The prototype is currently being built at a secret location in the country at a cost of RM500,000, he added.

Mohd Redzuan has not named the parties involved in developing the flying vehicles, but said there are two such projects.

He hopes the government’s support for the emerging technology will see Malaysia becoming a hub to manufacture or assemble flying vehicles in the future.

“As stated in a Morgan Stanley report, there is no growth in aviation. So, this is what we are doing to help them (private sector) grow. As I’ve said, Malaysians are hesitant followers.

“If there is no support, we will have to wait for another 10 years as said in the report. By then, we will become followers and agents to the technology instead of prime movers,” he said.