Flying Cars

Some people are never happy. The future hasn’t really arrived, they say.  We’re now meant to be living in a world of silver flame-retardant jump suits, ray guns and x-ray specs.

Some go even further. They believe the time has come to hold science fiction to task. This may be a world of impressive technologies, but, dude, where’s the flying car?

Well, the flying car has been with us for some time.  The earliest story equipped with a flying car was probably Jules Verne’s Master of the World (1904).  Verne’s car not only flew.  It could also double as a boat or submarine.

By 1928, Henry Ford had realised the concept in fact.  But the first attempts with Ford’s ‘sky flivver’ were troubled; a pilot died in an early test flight.  In 1956, cruise missile engineer, Moulton Taylor, unveiled the ‘Aerocar’.  Cruising up to 100mph, the little yellow car proved far more impractical than its fictional counterparts subsequently seen in the popular 1960s TV cartoon, The Jetsons, and featured in films such as Blade Runner (1982) and The Fifth Element (1997).

The latest model is Paul Moller’s futuristic ‘Skycar M400’.  With a helicopter take-off, smooth flight, and comfortable drive, the Moller ‘Skycar’ is almost Vernean in its completeness.  The downside: in this world of sustainability, fuel costs, and air traffic control, we’re still some way off those mesmerising skylines full of flivvers.

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