Flying Cars Edge Closer To Reality

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ConvairCar Model (Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Flying cars have been in the works since 1946, when aeronautical engineer Ted Hall created two prototypes of the ConvAirCar. Unfortunately, a crash landing due to low fuel caused the hybrid vehicle’s manufacturer, Convair, to lose interest and shut down the venture within a year. While there have been numerous attempts since, none have gone beyond the experimental stage. That is about to change thanks to a slew of new and established companies that are determined to make this 70-year-old quest a reality.

Kitty Hawk Flyer

On April 25, California-based start-up Kitty Hawk made headlines when it unveiled a video of its flying vehicle that will be available before the end of the year. The single-seater, propeller-powered Kitty Hawk Flyer is classified as an ultralight aircraft by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and approved for recreational flying in “uncongested areas.” Though the jet-ski-like vehicle, which can only be flown over water, is not quite the futuristic flying commuter car one would have envisioned, Kitty Hawk says they have other models in the works.

AeroMobile

Pop.Up, unveiled by French aircraft manufacturer Airbus at the Geneva Motor Show on March 8, is a battery-operated smart vehicle that can be used both on ground and air. Airbus envisions that during heavy traffic, the self-driving pod will make its way to a docking area where a drone with four rotors will attach and airlift it off the ground. Though it sounds exciting, Pop.Up is currently just a concept and Airbus is giving no insight into when this fantastic car/airplane will become a reality.

Transition

Massachusetts-based start-up Terrafugia has been trying to build a flying car since 2006. The latest model of their fully autonomous hybrid vehicle, Transition, has a range of 500 miles and is expected to come to market by 2023.

Earlier this week, San Francisco-based Uber, which pioneered ride-sharing, joined the fray with an announcement that it had partnered with Dubai and Dallas to roll out a fleet of flying cars by 2020.

Pop.Up by Airbus (Photo Credit: Airbus.com)

Of course, perfecting the vehicles is just one of the challenges faced by the manufacturers. They still need to obtain regulatory approvals before their inventions can freely fly in our increasingly crowded skies. In the case of autonomous vehicles, it means crafting an entirely new set of rules, which may take many years. Thus for the foreseeable future, we all have to be satisfied with our boring, but safe, terrestrial vehicles.

Resources: aeromobile.com, terrafugia.com, wired.com,reviewjournal.com

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1013 Comments
  • iheartdogonews
    iheartdogonewsabout 10 hours
    1920:we will have flying cars by 2022!!!! 2022:nope still working on it😳
    • beefymarshmalow
      beefymarshmalowabout 1 month
      NO NO NO, I want it NOW!
      • dreamisapro
        dreamisaproabout 1 month
        I want this when I turn 16!
        • dreamisapro
          dreamisaproabout 1 month
          Mom can I have the drone for Christmas it’s probably only $500,000 but I want it! Even though I would probably crass in the first 5 minutes of having to.
          • after
            after2 months
            omg I want it now GIVE IT TO ME NOW!!!!!!!!!!!
            • after
              after2 months
              it's sick
              • after
                after2 months
                what i am so out of my mined
                • bday_summergirl
                  I need to have one now! I mean ... NOW
                  • wolfy_blue
                    wolfy_blue9 months
                    Wow this is really cool!
                    • after
                      after2 months
                      I know
                    • gold3nglare
                      gold3nglare9 months
                      Nope, way too scary I wouldn't do that you can't make me no no nopity nope nope.