Flying Cars – Near Future or Science Fiction?

Flying Cars – Near Future or Science Fiction?

Ever since we had movies and science fiction books, flying cars and vehicles which resemble passenger vehicles, have been a fantasy of ours. Well, things are developing quickly today and we keep getting new technology breakthroughs with mobile phones, AI, even the car industry.

Are flying cars going to be in the future, the distant one, or are we going to see them in the next decade or so? We probably won’t have commercially available flying cars anytime soon, but they are in development. Here is more on the topic.

Flying Cars Have Been Around for a While (As Prototypes)

The early 20th century saw people trying to invent flying cars. The first notable example was made by Glenn Curtis called the Autoplane in 1917. Curtis was an airplane designer. There were multiple examples prior to World War II, namely the triphibian, the AC-35, the Arrowbile, which actually took flight, as well as the British Hafner Rotabuggy which also took flight. These examples were a step in the right direction, but it wasn’t until the late 20th century that we got more working examples of flying cars.

The Newer Flying Cars Which Never Took Off (Metaphorically Speaking)

The Aerocar by Molt Taylor was a very popular example of a flying car which never took off. It worked, it was even featured by Chuck Berry in a song. The car got approved by the US for mass production, yet Taylor could never get it into mass production. The business of making flying cars is not as simple as making passenger vehicles. For starters, the necessary certification is much more severe, as it should be. Having a license to pilot a flying car as opposed to a regular one implies much more work and responsibility, which casual drivers shy away from.

There were other examples, but it wasn’t until the 21st century that more flying cars made it into the air safely.

Valder137, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Modern Flying Cars – Will We See More of Them?

Some of the modern examples include the AirCar developed by Stefan Klein, a professor in Slovakia. The car had its first 35 minute flight between the Nitra and Bratislava airports. The car uses a 1.6 liter BMW engine which outputs 139 horsepower. It powers a propeller in the back of the vehicle. The vehicle has foldable wings and it takes around 2 minutes and 30 seconds for the car to transform from a car into a plane. It is about 5.2 meters long and can carry two people, or up to 200 kilograms. 

Flying cars are being developed as we speak. Over the last century, there have been multiple successful flying car prototypes. The problem lies with the certification, standardization and of course, the potential drivers/pilots.