Digital Economy USRG

The Flying Car: Making Dreams Come True

Date: 21.10.2013

Time: 13.30 - 15.00

Speaker: Witold Mielniczek

Location: 85/2207

This presentation will describe the development of a propulsion system for a flying car that has the capability of travelling on the ground and in the air. The invention can be utilised as a toy or as a real 1:1 flying car. In addition, the journey from the sketch board to successful Kickstarter entry will be presented. The flying car project as a whole represents a fascinating example of what can be achieved through a combination of innovative design, entrepreneurial vision and new digital funding models.

The talk will be introduced by Dr Lorraine Warren who is Director of the Research Centre for Strategic Innovation at Southampton Management School. She has 10 years experience in research in technology entrepreneurship and innovation, funded through SEC, HEIF and Gatsby Innovation fund, focusing on rapid innovation and agile business model development.

The proposed vehicle is capable of vertical take-off and landing, climbing 90° surfaces and driving up side down. It can easily drive in difficult terrain as well as achieve high speeds on flat surfaces. It is capable of vertical take-off when stationary (like helicopters) or can take-off while driving on the ground (like planes).

During the presentation a working prototype will be shown, this flying car toy prototype called B, could be scaled up to a 1:1 scale vehicle capable of carrying humans on board. Advantages and disadvantages of the system are investigated and a comparison with other concepts of flying cars is also made.


The presenter Witold Mielniczek graduated in Economics and later received a First Class Honours in Product Design and Robotics. In 2010 he achieved a 6th place (2nd in UK ranking) in the prestigious EUROBOT competition with a budget of only £300 (compared to the £60,000 of the winning team). Two years later, as a vital part of team HALO, he won the UAV Forge contest organised by the DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency of the United States) out of over 150 teams from 140 countries. Currently he’s studying for a PhD in Computational Engineering and Design, researching novel propulsion systems for small aircrafts at the University of Southampton, UK.


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