For many years now scientists and geeks alike have been trying to come up with a sensible flying car, it has to look and drive like a car then stretch out its wings and fly!
Not too much to ask you might think but it’s proving more difficult in practice, however there may be light on the horizon. DARPA have announced that they’re asking for relevant companies to tender for the contract to build one, they want it ready by 2015 or thereabouts, so if 2012 comes and goes without world cataclysm then maybe, just maybe we’ll have a flying car!
Terrafugia a Boston startup company have already made history with a 30 second trial flight of their ‘flying car’ which they say is actually more of a small plane that you can drive home from the airfield. The Transition as they’ve called it has folding wings so you can drive and park without damaging them, so it is still more of a plane you can drive, than a car that flies.
Moller International’s M400 Skycar may be the thing, it’s not really a plane and it’s not really a car! It has vertical lift a set down and can cruise comfortably at 275mph, it looks sleek but more of a plane than a car.
However the Nuera M200G from Moller could be ready this year (2010) this is more of a hover car that flies ten feet from the ground, so no need for a pilot’s license, multiple engines provide thrust and stability. Moller say that they don’t envision this as an urban vehicle but as a recreational one flying low over uninhabited ground.
They do believe that it could make a good emergency vehicle for urban areas, especially where medical aid is needed and traffic prevents that aid getting through quickly.
So the question still remains, would you hire a flying car if you could? I might try the Nuera M200G as I like to live in the country and going direct is going to be quicker than following the roads, but would I be able to bring my shopping back?
So I guess having flying car on the fleet of car rental companies is still some way off – pity really I’d like to see that!