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LaBiche FSC-1 - Quirky Kit Car

Breaking News

If it took them several years to reach this conclusion, LaBiche should be rolling out the LaBiche Aerospace FSC-1 prototype any time between now and the 25th century.
labiche flying car

image courtesy of LaBiche Aerospace

by Ross Bonander, Contributing Writer

Specs

  • Manufacturer: LaBiche Aerospace
  • Type: Flying Car
  • Class: Kit car / experimental airplane
  • Propulsion system:Chevrolet-LS2 C6 Corvette 2005 crate engine, supercharged, all aluminum block 6.0L V8
  • Top Speed: 180 mph
  • Zero-to-60: 7 seconds
  • MPG: 15 mpg
  • Vehicle range: 1350 miles
  • Fuel(s): Gasoline
  • Tailpipe emissions: Yes

The Manufacturer Says...

The LaBiche Aerospace FSC-1 is designed for fully automated transformation between car and aircraft modes in under 30 seconds by a simple mode command from the cockpit. Flight surfaces are stowed in car mode to prevent tampering. Multiple safety systems and sensors assure complete and automated conversion into aircraft mode.

The Critics Say

“Sure it's outlandish, and, sure, the missing pieces in the car's story outnumber the non-missing ones. But think of it this way: What if you didn't find out until your neighbor rolled one out of his garage? You'd want to kick our asses, right?” —- jalopnik.com

Overview

The LaBiche Aerospace FSC-1 (“Flying Sports Car #1) purports to be the “first aircraft in history that can convert at the touch of button between car and airplane mode in 30 seconds” and provide the owner with “true ‘door-to-door’ travel."

"Whether you are going around the block, or going around the country, the FSC-1 can provide true, "door-to-door travel" in comfort and style." -- LaBiche Aerospace

What We Like

  • The performance. LaBiche Aerospace FSC-1 claims 275 mph at 18,000 feet. That’ll do.
  • The vehicle design. Drawings of the LaBiche Aerospace FSC-1 have it collapsing into a fairly sleek-looking sports car. If you squint and use your imagination, it almost looks like a Maserati MC12 Corsa, but arthritic and boxy. For a flying car, that ain’t bad!
  • The Kit and cost. As a $175,000 kit, owners have to provide 51% of the labor required to assemble it. LaBiche is proposing a Builder Assistance Program to help owners with building the vehicle. If this can keep costs down, great. If it keeps safety down, not so great.

What We Don’t Like

  • The propulsion system. The LaBiche Aerospace FSC-1 has a Chevrolet-LS2 C6 Corvette 2005 crate engine, supercharged, all aluminum block 6.0L V8, allowing it to go 0-to-80 in seven seconds and reach a top speed of 180 mph. Presumably this is for take-off, but it sounds like a gas guzzler.
  • The fuel storage system. In the city the LaBiche Aerospace FSC-1 will average 15 mpg and have a range of 1350 miles. Inboard wing panels allow you to store 45 gallons of gasoline per side. Fill-up shouldn’t take too long, and should an accident fuel a spark, it’ll all be over very quickly.
  • The aircraft design. Where the LaBiche Aerospace FSC-1 was a Maserati’s less attractive but still decent-looking cousin, the aircraft it unfolds into is somewhat more unsightly. Based on these drawings alone, the aircraft might be better suited on the driving range; its main wings sort of resemble the brush/roller attachment on the carts that scoop up range balls. Meanwhile, the canard and elevator seem to give the craft whiskers. They won’t inspire confidence at 18,000 ft.

Conclusion

At least they aren’t trying to make Vertical Take-Off and Landing a reality, but this concerns us: “LaBiche launched an extensive marketing and questionnaire evaluation over several years. From this evaluation, it was determined that as a car based society, potential owners would really prefer to drive everywhere possible… if they could only "magically" shorten the travel time!

If it took them several years to reach this conclusion, LaBiche should be rolling out the LaBiche Aerospace FSC-1 prototype any time between now and the 25th century.

More information on the LaBiche Aerospace FSC-1 at labicheaerospace.com.

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