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Japan flying car group makes first manned outdoor flight

Consortium aims to commercialize the vehicle in remote areas such as Inland Sea

The two-seater flying car performed the successful test on Feb. 17. (Photo by Toshiki Sasazu)

OITA, Japan -- A flying car achieved the first manned outdoor flight in Japan on Friday morning in a trial by a local consortium of aviation and automobile businesses, a big step for a technology seen as serving remote islands and mountainous regions that lack transportation.

The two-seater took off from an artificial island in the western Japanese city of Oita and traveled about 400 meters at an altitude of about 30 meters without a pilot controlling the plane. The vehicle, measuring 1.7 meters high and 5.6 meters wide, remained steady during a flight that lasted 3 minutes and 31 seconds.

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