Future flying cars have intrigued people for decades.
Ever since Orville and Wilbur Wright took off on their historic
flight from Kittyhawk, North Carolina, people were not thinking
about huge jumbo jets, but rather future flying cars that could
get them from point A to point B quickly, safely and aeronautically.
What came to be developed, though, were larger and larger aircraft
for hauling more and more people aboard.
Sky buses could herd people like cattle aboard jumbo jetliners
and transport people across the continent in only hours.
But, people still kept yearning for future flying cars, the kind
like a regular automobile, but one that could put people above the
angst of rush hour traffic, highway closures, detours and traffic
jam causing accidents.
And because this yearning continued, there were TV shows like the
venerable Jetsons to fuel this fire in our bellies to "fly
above it all" and give us more power and control with our vehicles
that we've ever had before.
Since this yearning has stayed alive all these years, there have
been many entrepreneurs working on developing future flying cars
that would one day become a reality. Some would say that we are
now, officially, almost there.
For instance, the Moller flying car is just one such vehicle with
its four ethanol driven rotary engines that can either drive like
a car or take off like a Harrier jet. The latest rendition is the
Moller Skycar M400, which is taking preorders and is expected to
make its commercial debut by 2009 or 2010.
Then another future flying car is the AirScooter II, which is being
called a recreational air vehicle. The AirScooter II is not in production
yet as the AirScooter Corporation is still testing its AeroTwin
Engine and expects to go into production by the end of 2007. For
under $50,000 you can have your own personal aircraft that soars
above the traffic. The AirScooter II can reach 55 mph and fly for
2 hours before refueling.
And, then there is Carter Aviation Technologies that are developing
two difference kinds of PAV (personal aviation vehicles). The Carter
2 place PAV is an entry level rotorcraft designed as a pure autogiro
that will cruise at around 130 mph. The Carter 4 place PAV (2+2
PAV) will use the company's slowed rotor technology and a 330 horsepower
turbo diesel engine with the ability to fly at 230 mph and a range
of 1200 miles. The company is currently accepting refundable deposits.
And of course, now the Terrafugia Transition is no longer a future
flying car but one that is here now. After extensive testing the
FAA is now allowing the Terrafugia Transition to be sold that is
both street legal and air worthy.
So, to recap, future flying cars are not that much into the future
(in fact one is here now). Within a couple of short years, other
future flying cars may be your present everyday car and flying
will be as commonplace as honking your horn at another driver
Written by Kevin Lepton