Joseph Caravella Jr's
Joe Caravella, now 38 (2010), attended South Lakes High School before studying Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Purdue University, Indiana and getting a master's degree. His studies included attending a special program at NASA's Langley Research Center, where many a flying car idea has been tested. While still in school Joe built flying airplane models, full sized hang gliders and a hovercraft. Later he got his pilot's licence and flew around in a Cessna.
One day on the way home from college to Reston Virginia (near Washington D.C.) he got a speeding ticket. A police airplane had clocked his excess road speed. That was the moment the idea for the "Caravellair" flying motorcycle was born.
Joe Caravella in the Caravellair at the
EAA Airventure show in Wisconsin, Aug. 2008
After college Joe landed a good job at Rocketdyne Aerospace and worked there for
ten years. He moved and now lives in Sherman Oaks. While at Rocketdyne Joe saved up enough money
(U.S. $100,000) to quit and devote all his time to building the Caravellair. The building was done
in his garage together with hid dad, Joe senior. Everything was hurried up to have a non-flying
mock-up ready for the 2008 EAA Airventure Show in Oshkosh.
Starting in 2010 the Caravellair will be sold as a kit for U.S. $50,000. Joe sees as initial market for adventurous hobby fliers.
Joe points out that people are forced to live further from work, meaning that people with a commute of more than 50 miles are also a potential market. A former team-mate of Joe's in his high school gymnastic squad, Steve Schroeder, goes one step further. He sites the example of how "commuter" or "transit lanes" have been set up on freeways, and conjectures that one day there will special landing and take-off lanes for commuters flying Caravellairs.