Flying cars were once the epitomy of the 21st century dream. Practicality, legal issues and cost, however, meant that the idea never really took off.
If someone from the 1950’s travelled through time and met you, what would be the most difficult thing to explain? Selfies? Memes? The fact that you have a device in your pocket capable of accessing the entirety of knowledge known to mankind and you use it to argue with strangers? Or how about the fact that flying cars never took off? No pun intended.
It was once the stuff of every science fiction writers imagination; a land where flying cars where the norm and we all flew to work, but much like the hoverboard it has never really been a worthwhile venture.
Well, flying cars have been enjoying a quiet renaissance in recent years with several new models in various stages of production and/or development. Here are a few from the web that look pretty cool and might one day be useful. Might being the important word
Designed by an Israeli company, Urban Aeronautics, the Cormorant was initially developed as a people carrying drone. It can handle a payload of 1100lbs and travel at 115mph. Whilst it may be pushing the limits of what we would consider a flying car, it does look pretty cool and can take off and land vertically.
This flying car looks a little more car-like as the wings actually unfold when the vehicle is in flight mode. It does take a few hundred meters for take-off, so it isn’t as versatile as other current models. But it uses regular petrol and could even fit into a normal car park spot. You would need a pilot license to use the vehicle in flight mode, which is where the legal difficulties come into it. The vehicle was engineered by Slovakian company AeroMobil.
This is the most flying car-like flying car on the list. Made by US manufacturer, Terrafugia, the company has been working on this design for a decade. This model will go into full production in2019. The company is building 2 models; the first is called the Transition that can be driven or flown and takes a distance to take-off. The second model is called the TF-X which has fold-out rotors for vertical launches.
Another model that pushes the limit of the definition of flying car is the Lilium Jet. It is, however, too awesome not to include. Using 36 electric fans, the vehicle can take-off and land vertically, and once in flight, it uses electric jet engines to travel at speeds up to 190 mph with almost 200 miles of range. It is still in the developmental phase but should be available on the market in the next few years.
Joby Aviation of California, United States, is in the process of developing a two-seat, electric plane with 12 rotors aligned along its wings and tail. The aircraft can take-off and land vertically and can achieve speeds of over 200 mph, according to the company’s website.
Would you drive a flying plane? Have you seen any others that you would try? Let me know on Facebook or in the comments below.