Meet the Filipino Inventor Who Made the World's Smallest Flying Car
As a kid, you probably dreamt of flying—maybe as a caped superhero or using a futuristic vehicle built only in your mind. And like every lad out there, you must have somehow fulfilled that dream by playing games and using your imagination. But for Kyxz Mendiola, merely dreaming and playing wasn't enough. He wanted to fly and he found a way to do it.
Now, Mendiola is known worldwide as the inventor of the first-ever flying car in the Philippines (and the smallest one in the world!), the Koncepto Millenya.
"Basically, Koncepto Millenya is a concept for cars in the new millennium," Mendiola shares in an interview with FHM. "'80s kids like me probably thought that around this time, there would already be flying cars. The name just fits the project and the product. And Koncepto Millenya sounds really cool, too!"
Koncepto Millenya is an Electric Manned Aerial Vehicle (EMAV) that uses
Mendiola is a dancer (he's part of the award-winning Philippine All-Stars) and filmmaker by profession. He got his idea to make aerial vehicles several years ago while he was flying a drone during a shoot.
"I actually started making drones eight years ago for filmmaking," he recalls. "It just kept getting bigger and bigger, to the point that I saw the potential of the technology. 'Maybe, a drone can carry a person one day,' I said to myself. Two years after, I started experimenting on how to make a flying machine using the drone technology."
Having no background in building machines didn't hinder Mendiola from achieving his goals. "I watched YouTube videos about engineering and aeronautics," he says. "I owe everything I know to the internet. I would work on the prototype for about eight hours a day. Then I would go home and study for about four to six hours. I did that for so many years just to make this aircraft possible."
The project started out as a fun endeavor, but Mendiola realized that it had potential. "Different companies around the world are also making their own flying car prototypes. So I realized that I was right and this technology could possibly be the next big thing in transportation."
Using his own money (he also borrowed some from his friends), Mendiola started investing seriously in the project. "I started making the flying car frames around 2017. This 2018, I released my first prototype. It was a long journey, but it was worth it."
After years of self-funding, Mendiola found a partner who could invest and help with his creations, Australian company Star8 Green Technology Corporation.
"Star8 Green Technology Corporation specializes in electric vehicles; they are one of the biggest electric vehicles suppliers in the country right now. They are now funding my invention to have this put on the market."
Just yesterday, September 24, they opened their first mega factory in Batangas. "That's gonna be one of our mega factories to build the flying cars," Mendiola notes.
Together, they're looking to manufacture a 1- and 2-seater production unit called Future 8. Mendiola has also started working on a 4-seater flying car. Hopefully, they'll be able to release it next year.
"Don't give up on your dreams," Mendiola says. "Because sooner or later, your dreams might just happen."
This story originally appeared on Fhm.com.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.