"Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads."It's The Future and you want show how far technology has advanced. Or, your present-day Earthling heroes are visiting an alien planet whose society is light years ahead of us. Or the story is set in present-day Earth and you simply want to give your hero a Cool Car, but what do you do when missiles, Nitro Boost and Ejection Seats don't suffice to show just how much of a badass he is? Simple: flying cars! In a setting more similar to the present day, a flying car can be used to show off the credentials of a superhero or a character who's rich enough to be one of the Fiction 500. Or sometimes it's just a lazy way to demonstrate that a show is set in a far-flung time and/or place. Nothing screams "futuristic (or alien) city-scape" better than giant buildings with all the space between them crammed with flying shiny specks! Either way, you need a flying car! The lack of flying cars in Real Life is a common complaint. When people think of flying cars, they generally mean a vehicle that looks, drives and behaves exactly like an automobile... except flying. Otherwise you could say we already have them in the form of helicopters or small planes. This would require some rather fanciful technology for a vehicle to get off the ground without wings or a rotor system in place. This is usually handwaved with some mention of an antigravity device. Still, a flying car would essentially be a personal aircraft and would require the same skills and regulations as a small airplane. The closest thing we have in real life is "roadable aircraft," essentially small planes whose wings and propeller detach, allowing the vehicle to be driven home from the airport. Not meant to replace your day-to-day car. "True" flying cars—that is, aircraft with the same low cost, utility and flexibility as cars and intended to fill the same niche as them in the market— have been much less studied for a number of reasons. See also: Look Ma, No Plane!. If the car in question is flying through the air in many small pieces due to an explosion, see External Combustion. The Amphibious Automobile is a similar concept, albeit one that is more successful in real life since it's much easier to make a car float in the water than in the air.
— Doc Brown, Back to the Future
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Anime & Manga
- Bakusou Kyoudai! Let's & Go!! has Magnum mini 4WD series' "Magnum Tornado", the Nitro Boost making them able to fly and spin in the sky for a short time.
- There's lots of flying cars in Dragon Ball Z.
- FPs, short for Flying Platforms, are quite common in Eureka Seven Ao.
- Howl's Moving Castle shows us the Steam Punk version, with flapping wings and steam engines.
- Satsuki of Mahou Sensei Negima! has a flying Dining-Car Restaurant. Having two Mad Scientist friends sure is handy.
- Wallace's Air Car in Pokémon Special. It can even be controlled remotely, a fact Ruby exploited twice during the final battles of the Ruby/Sapphire Story Arc.
- Flying cars exist in Silent Möbius, but have yet to replace ground vehicles. The AMP uses 'spinner' patrol cars and Rally has a flying limousine.
- Trinity Blood has an aerodynamics-challenged version.
- The Moore capitol police force uses them in Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt, which is strange because all the cars featured in the series up to that point were fairly normal-looking wheeled ones. This may be due to Moore being one of the richer colony clusters before being destroyed in the early days of the One Year War. They appear to use similar engines to the Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team's Type 74 hover-truck, though that one can't actually fly, presumably due to the extra weight.
- The Fantastic Four's Fantasti-Car.
- In the Marvel Universe, S.H.I.E.L.D. has a small fleet of flying cars.
- The Star Rocket Racer, the rarely-seen personal flying auto of both the Golden Age Star-Spangled Kid and Stargirl of the Justice Society of America. Ever since she got her Cosmic Rod she hasn't really had a need for it.
- She-Hulk once had a flying car (a gift from a benevolent alien) but later lost it.
- The Supermobile was a flying car piloted by Superman. Why would Superman need a flying car, you ask?
- The comics' excuse was that the Supermobile was invented by Superman at a time he'd lost his powers, and needed something to help him fight Amazo. The car was capable of duplicating most of his powers, was constructed of a super-hard metal, and could shield him from kryptonite.
- The Batcraft flown by Jim Gordon III, in the computer-generated cyberpunk Elseworld comic Batman: Digital Justice.
- In Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin, Dick Grayson and Damien Wayne have a flying Batmobile.
- In John Byrne's Superman & Batman: Generations, Clark Wayne as Knight-Wing operated a flying Batmobile.
- The Batmobile itself became a flying car, as well as a submersible (!) in Frank Miller's All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder.
- A main staple in a lot of Antarctic Press comics. Asrial from Ninja High School converts a junked car into one as part of a challenge if she qualified for a job as a mechanic. It later used as the protagonist main transportation around town. Gina from Gold Digger patented (and often destroyed) "Gina Mobile" can turn into one when needed. And the heroes main transportation in the first half of I Hunt Monsters have one named Kirby that they use to get around the world.
- Tony Stark's flying Ferrari also counts.
- Chassis was a comic book series built around the sport of rocket car racing.
- The Whiz Wagon, used by Jimmy Olsen and the Newsboy Legion during Jack Kirby's "Fourth World" tenure at DC in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
- In Cavewoman, Gramps had a flying motorcycle.
- In one Disney Comics Donald Duck story, some aliens crash-land on Earth and, seeing Donald's pie delivery van, mistake it for a spaceship since it looks very much like their spaceship and subsequently turn it into a literal flying car while trying to "fix a few things."
- Common in the world of Funky Koval. Some even have special features like onboard defense systems.
- Copperhead uses magnetic levitation cars and trains that hover less than ten feet off the ground. It's handwaved that maglev-equipped vehicles are cheaper and easier than building and maintaining roads.
- Calvin and Hobbes: In one Sunday comic, Calvin daydreams that his parents let him drive the family car. He then makes the car fly simply by driving so fast that the speedometer breaks.
- The police car on Dandond in With Strings Attached. George wants to take it home with him.
Films — Animation
- Cars featured a fantasy sequence by Lightning McQueen where he becomes Dinoco Lightning Storm McQueen, flies through the air, and dispatches evil tripods with missiles. Given that his very next fantasy involves opening nights and the Hollywood Walk of fame, he may have been fantasising about film-star ambitions.
- In Cars 2, espionage agent Holly Shiftwell can fly. Mater manages to do so when he deploys both his parachute and his rocket thrusters.
- Flint Lockwood made an attempt of building one without wings in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs though actually builds a working and winged one by the climax.
- In Home, Oh rebuilds Tip's broken car so it can fly, under the impression that it was supposed to do that.
- In The LEGO Movie, Good Cop/Bad Cop's police car can transform into a hovercar.
- Common in the future presented in Meet the Robinsons. The Time Machine is even engineered from one a la Back to the Future.
- Present in many of the futuristic scenes featured in The Mind's Eye series. Most often shown to be barely car-like but nonetheless the common vehicle for the intended period. The Gate features these with visible aerodynamic surfaces and thrusters, and a particular sequence follows one vehicle driving like an absolute lunatic, bouncing off scenery and having a head-on with a clearly-marked wall.
Films — Live-Action
- The Absent-Minded Professor puts flubber into a car, and bombards it with gamma rays to make it levitate.
- The Spinners from Blade Runner have inspired replicas in countless boxsets.
- In The Man with the Golden Gun, Francisco Scaramanga escapes with a winged AMC Matador. It becomes humorous when Mary Goodnight hides in the trunk before he gets away and thinks the car has stopped, only to open it and find herself 20,000 feet up.
- The Flying Car, a short film taking place in The View Askewniverse. Stuck in traffic, Randall and Dante discuss what they would hypothetically be willing to do to get the flying car. Randall badgers Dante by upping the ante until the latter relents and says he would be willing to have his foot hacked off and be sodomized by a Mad Scientist in exchange for the flying car.
- Back to the Future Part II makes flying cars commonplace by the year 2015. Apparently the writers really liked this idea, because it was one of the few things from the original script of the first movie to survive.
- The Fifth Element has lots of these, of course.
- In The Last Starfighter, Centauri's Cool Car is both a Flying Car and a starship.
- Star Wars:
- Luke's speeder in A New Hope was only ever a few inches off the ground, but it did fly, technically...
- The Coruscant speeder chase in Attack of the Clones. Coruscant seems practically on the verge of having Flying Car traffic jams...
- All sorts of military and civilian repulsorlift vehicles abound in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Speeder bikes (from Return of the Jedi), airspeeders, hovertrucks, pod racers, swoops...
- Lady Penelope's pink Ford limousine in the live-action Thunderbirds movie.
- Establishing shots of San Francisco in the Star Trek films usually feature vehicles flying across the skyline. Apparently, people can't just beam themselves to work — it's the states after all. People there need the pleasure of driving like pedestrians need oxygen. Not to mention that this is the franchise which codified the Teleporter Accident trope. Anyone who saw Star Trek: The Motion Picture would prefer to take a shuttle. Subverted in the 2009 film with a young Kirk having a car which very decidedly could not fly, although he was still pursued by a cop on flying bike.
- In Spaceballs, Lone Starr's flying Winnebago, the Eagle V. Princess Vespa's space car also qualifies. It was a Mercedes!
- Perhaps the earliest example in film would be the small personal airplanes seen flitting amongst the buildings in Fritz Lang's Metropolis. They may not have looked like cars, but they seemed to fill the same function. This was probably also the Trope Maker for the whole "throw in some flying cars zipping between giant buildings to establish that we're in The Future" thing, and it remains popular to this day.
- The ending of Repo Man has the much sought-after 1964 Chevrolet Malibu flying up in the sky, and ending up in space.
- The French film Fantômas se déchaîne ("Fantômas Unleashed") ends with the titular villain escaping in a Citroën DS that converts into an airplane.
- Captain America: The First Avenger. The I Want My Jetpack aspect is spoofed when Howard Stark presents a prototype to an awestruck public at a 1940's technology expo, saying that in a few years (thanks to the amazing technology being developed by Stark Industries) cars will not have wheels. The demo car then blows a fuse and crashes to the floor. Stark recovers by making a joke of it. "I said a few years, didn't I?"
- The students of Sky High (2005) go to school in a flying bus.
- Defied with The Bat in The Dark Knight Rises:
Selina: My mother warned me about getting into cars with strange men.
Batman: This isn't a car.
- In the 1930's sci-fi musical Just Imagine everyone has their own propeller-driven personal airplane with horizontal props inset in each wing so they can hover in midair, allowing their occupants to chat or burst into song. In a Take That! against the anti-semetic Henry Ford, all the car manufacturers have Jewish names.
- Director Nick Fury's SUV reportedly has flight capabilities that were disabled during the attack on him in Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- The air conditioning however was full operational...
- Harry Potter:
- Sirius' flying motorbike.
- In the second book, Arthur Weasley enchanted a Ford Anglia to make it able to fly. Because of a loophole, it wouldn't be considered illegal as long as nobody flew on it. The car becomes sentient thanks to the Forbidden Forest's innate magic and comes to Ron and Harry's rescue later in the book.
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
- The Number of the Beast by Robert A. Heinlein features one of the coolest cars of all time: Gay Deceiver. It doesn't just fly, it flies at hypersonic speed with retractable swing wings. It is capable of vertical take-offs and landings. It can even do semiballistic sub-orbital flights just past the edge of space. Oh, and it gets upgraded with a time machine that can visit alternate universes, some of them fictional ones, including Oz and Wonderland, as well as the ability to teleport within the same universe. Seats four, six if they're really friendly. Plus, it has a magic annex (thanks to one of those visits to Oz) with a pair of fully-functional bathrooms and a never-empty picnic basket. And a superintelligent talking computer autopilot with a wicked sense of humor and a sexy contralto voice. And a highly illegal (but well-hidden) laser cannon.
- Pretty much all of Heinlein's "Future History" stories have flying cars. One of them (The Puppet Masters) even describes the North American radar net as being called the "No Sparrow Shall Fall" network that tracks every car (note there are about 250 million registered passenger vehicles currently in the USA). Despite the fact that he was considered one of the "kings" of Hard Science Fiction, he never would admit that flying cars are Awesome, but Impractical.
- In Space Cadet the protagonist is picked up by a helicopter, which doesn't seem too strange until you realise it's a personal helicopter that his family fly themselves, their version of a family car. Earlier the Farm Boy protagonist mentions getting his copter license at the age of 12.
- Valhalla features flying cars called "pogos," named for their bouncing nature.
- The In Death series, set 20 Minutes into the Future. Then, as now, cop equipment is crappy. But they do have flying cars, and laser stunners, and offworld travel is more or less routine. I'd say the trade-offs are worth it.
- The 3rd World Products series. Though those were van to small bus size and larger.
- The Ganymede Takeover by Philip K. Dick and Ray Nelson had "ionscraft".
- Like most Speculative Fiction settings with mature Anti Gravity technology, Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga has a wide variety of flying vehicles:
- Float bikes (flying motorcycle analog)
- Lightfliers (2-4 passenger, high performance)
- Aircars (4-8 passenger. Police/security models have varying armament options)
- Lift Vans (mass cargo/passenger transport)
- Anything larger will usually have orbital capability, moving into cargo shuttle or Drop Ship territory.
- Dune's ornithopters (or just "thopter"s) probably count, although they may be more equivalent to helicopters. Note that ornithopters are a real invention, people have been attempting (and failing) to build practical ones for a century now.
- Played hilariously straight in Good Omens when Aziraphale decides that 4-5 miles an hour on a small scooter is not fast enough to prevent the apocalypse. So he makes it fly. Very, very fast.
- The aptly named SkyKar in Villain.net.
- The volantors of Chasm City seen in Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space series. Their most explicit appearance is in the novella Diamond Dogs. They become partially Lost Technology by the time Chasm City takes place, where they are effectively replaced by terrifying bring-your-brown-pants gondolas that use multiple telescoping arms to swing across the cables hung from the dome covering Chasm City.
- Lowly Worm from the Richard Scarry books apparantly drives an apple-shaped car that also serves as a helicopter since its "leaves" actually function as the helicopter's blades. Except how the heck is he able to drive it if he doesn't have any arms?
- In David Weber's Honor Harrington series, aircars have pretty much replaced ground cars, with the latter only being used on backward planets in fringe sectors. There are limousines, vans and sports cars, all of which can operate on different altitudes. They're also handy for disposing of troublesome people by certain less scrupulous organizations.
- Stephanie Harrington shows how perfectly normal aircars are in the distant future, with Stephanie's parents, as a gift on her fifteenth birthday, allow her to take the test ot get her Aircar license.
- In SA Swann's Terran Confederacy universe, flying cars start out as vectored thrust vehicles mostly limited to the rich, but after the invention of contragrav they become much more common.
- The title character of Tinker invented magically powered hoverbikes, and now races them.
- In the Towers Trilogy, the Magitek-powered cars of the City are capable of flight. This is necessary for travel between the titular Mage Towers, which float in the air and are constantly changing location.
- The combat cars used by Hammer's Slammers, like their tanks, are actually hovercraft. Civilian aircars are also commonplace on highly developed planets, and popular among plutocrats on the less-developed worlds that usually hire the Slammers.
- In the Zachary Nixon Johnson series, most cars are flying cars. Zach is frequently mocked for having an antique non-flying car.
- In Captain French, or the Quest for Paradise, they are common on developed worlds. Very useful for traveling great distances. The primary non-aquatic mode of transportation on Solaris, as the deficit of land means that roads are a no-no. How they work is never explained, especially since it's clear that Artificial Gravity hasn't been discovered in this 'verse.
- Flying Motor Bikes from Galactica 1980.
- One of the first things Billy did in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers once he started getting savvy with alien technology was make a flying Volkswagen Beetle he dubbed the "Rad Bug". Yes, they could, technically, teleport if they wanted to, but even Billy could tell that a flying car was cooler. And it did come in handy the times they couldn't teleport.
- Gekisou Sentai Carranger/Power Rangers Turbo has two sentient cars, one of which could convert to a flight mode.
- Also, Speedor of Engine Sentai Go-onger / the Eagle Racer of Power Rangers RPM is a zord that's half-sports car, half-bird (condor in Go-Onger, eagle in RPM); and has a flight mode in line with the "bird" half. Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger and Power Rangers Megaforce later introduce its successor Machalcon / the Turbo Falcon zord (half-formula racer, half-falcon) who likewise has flight ability.
- Power Rangers S.P.D. frequently showed a small number of flying vehicles to remind us that we're 20 Minutes into the Future. Oddly, the Ranger's vehicles were all either ground-bound or full-blown aircraft.
- Automan could have Cursor instantly convert his Cool Car into a Cool Plane.
- The third Doctor in Doctor Who (while grounded on Earth by the Time Lords) briefly used a futuristic flying car dubbed by fans as "The Whomobile".
- More recently, the new series has "New Earth", which features flying cars. In its second appearance, the cars have the worst traffic jam in the history of the universe in "Gridlock".
- The final scene of the Series Finale of 30 Rock has flying cars pass outside the window to show the story has advanced decades in the future when the never aging NBC President Kenneth is pitched a show totally set at 30 Rockefeller Plaza by Liz Lemon's great grand daughter
- The final scene of the first episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has Agent Coulson quoting Doc Brown verbatim while flying away in his Cool Car, Lola. He flies it several times in later episodes.
- Shadowrun has a selection of hovercars in addition to normal cars, helicopters, and airplanes. The really fun thing is that if you have a reasonable DM, it is possible to afford a hovercar at character creation (it will eat up around half your cash, though)
- Cyberpunk2020 has hovercars too, of course with the aerodynamics of a brick and only available to those with good amounts of dough. Most known are the hoverambulances of Trauma Team, that provide a sort of a rescue service to those in trouble... of course for a price.
- Teenagers from Outer Space has spacesters: look like a car, move like a flying saucer. No teenager can afford to buy one — but a clever human/alien pair can build one by, yes, cannibalizing parts from a car and a flying saucer.
- Flying cars exist in Aberrant, but their use is restricted to police, emergency services and the military.
- Flying cars are fairly common on Mars (lower gravity) and Venus (inhospitable surface) in Eclipse Phase.
- In Rocket Age rocket cars and trucks are the go to choice for the rich and well off. There are enough of them to turn the skies of New York into something akin to Coruscant.
- Dribble and Spitz's taxi in the WarioWare series is capable of flight and space travel.
- Beam Breakers was a computer game in which you drove antigravity cars in a The Fifth Element-esque city. It was also awesome...
- The Phoenix Hovercar in XCOM Apocalypse. Together with the Hoverbikes, they're excellent vehicles for Zerg Rushing Flying Saucers in the early and mid game.
- Some of the Choro Q games have jet packs and wings as add-ons which allow your car to fly.ggg
- Common in Mass Effect, due to the ubiquity of Element Zero-based technology. In the "Lair of the Shadow Broker" DLC for Mass Effect 2, you even get to pilot one in a scene reminiscent of Attack of the Clones.
- Space Taxi.
- Professor Layton and the Unwound Future features the Laytonmobile, a decidedly dated car...which, thanks to Don Paolo, can sprout wings and an airscrew and transform into a fully functional aeroplane.
Luke: "Professor, where did you learn to fly a plane?"Layton: "Plane? This is an automobile."
- A common power-up for your tank in the Blaster Master series.
- Tex Murphy has one which is used to travel between locations. In Under A Killing Moon, it can even go into SPACE when Murphy visits the off-planet Broken Skull bar.
- Night Striker, an "Into-the-screen" Shoot 'em Up has you play as one.
- Mario Kart 7 features cars that can turn into hang gliders.
- Hover cars seem to the norm in Future Cop: L.A.P.D., even if they still use roads.
- The Rogue Squadron games have a cheat-only flying Buick Electra convertible as an Easter Egg.
- The intro of Star Ocean: Till the End of Time depicts a future Earth full of flying cars and floating buildings. They've even put the Statue of Liberty on top of a tower, presumably so New Yorkers can see it better from their flying cars.
- The video game adaptation of Harry Potter video game has Harry and Ron unable to navigate an aircraft, get lost and then get nearly killed by a Jumbo Jet.
- The racing vehicles of Fatal Inertia seem to be a hybrid between a ground-effect fighter jet and an Indycar, which hover several meters in the air and use jet engines to accelerate to 500kph+. Their wings allow racers to hug the ground or temporarily soar into the air to avoid obstacles. They're also highly customizable, and armored to fight off weapons from other racers.
- In X Rebirth, the Consumer Compact Craft seen around space stations bear striking resemblance to cars and trucks, minus the wheels, and come in a wide variety of models from delivery to sleek and sporty. They fly around in lose three-dimensional "lanes" that thread the stations and the space between them as police compact craft move about scanning for contraband. CCC's have no capacity for weaponry and are roughly the size of modern traffic vehicles, whereas even the smallest proper Space Fighter is significantly larger, comparable to a modern jet fighter.
- The entire point of F-Zero
- Final Fantasy XV has the Regalia Type-F, a flying car that serves as this installment's airship.
- John takes his dad's car, and does the windy thing to make it fly in Homestuck.
- In Sinfest, Slick promises flying cars while running for president.
- The standard mode of transportation in Breakpoint City. Ben's doubles as a Time Machine.
- Sluggy Freelance: When Riff first encounters Dr. Schlock, a time traveller from the future, and tries to ask him for help to build a new time machine to recover his friends from the past, Schlock says that he hasn't been a scientist in twenty years and has no future technology with him. Then he tries to fly away in his car.
- This xkcd features Cueball whining to Megan, wanting to know why there aren't any flying cars. Megan points out that they not only have awesome technology that fits in the palm of your hand, but that Cueball would probably crash his flying car while texting and playing Angry Birds.
- Deconstructed by Cracked, courtesy of their "5 Awesome Sci-Fi Inventions (That Would Actually Suck)".
(on matter replicators) The end of everything will come on the day when anyone can make anything. Except a flying car, those will still be useless.
- About half of the cars in Batman Beyond, including the Batmobile, can fly. There are still roads though, covered with wheeled vehicles.
- The Falconcar on Dynomutt Dog Wonder.
- British cartoon hero Danger Mouse had what looked suspiciously like a flight-capable version of James Bond's Lotus Esprit.
- Heroes aren't the only ones to get the sweet rides: Dr Claw had his getaway car which could function as both a jet and a submarine.
- In Futurama, all cars are flying cars. Nobody even knows what wheels are (though how much they know varies from episode to episode as Rule of Funny dictates). And yet they still crawl along in traffic jams down roadways.
- A few examples in M.A.S.K. including the Thunder Hawk, Firefly, Raven, Manta, and the Goliath's race car. The Condor and Vampire were flying motorcycles.
- The ATV series of Rupert featured a cart named "The Chariot", which was capable of flight. The CGI series featured a more modern looking flying car.
- The Jetsons' jet-car, probably one of most-cited examples of a flying car as far as the general public's concerned.
- Tracks' alternate mode in Transformers: Generation 1 was a Corvette Stingray with pop-out wings
- All the Cybertronian land-vehicle alternate modes in the first episode of the G1 cartoon were hover vehiclesnote .
- In Transformers Cybertron, Optimus' vehicle mode has a flight configuration. The side panels swing out and then rotate down to become large wings, and the ladder/cannon on either one swings around so that it still faces forward. His vehicle mode? A fire truck. That's right, he turns into a flying fire truck.
- Bob's car in ReBoot is a flying car, which tends to break down and drop like a stone.
- Since the wheel doesn't seem to exist (outside of games that is) just about every vehicle in ReBoot is a flying vehicle. Along with Bob's flying classic car, this includes the system's airforce of ABCs and their villianous counterpart the CPUs which look like flying police cars.
- Kim Possible:
- Due to being tricked out by her twin super genius brothers, Kim's car has this capability.
- Dr. Drakken has his own flying car.
- Goldie of Goldie Gold and Action Jack has a flying limo.
- Subverted in Skysurfer Strike Force, the heroes have cars that fly, but only if they are transformed into hoverboards.
- Do hovercars count?
- Pop's car, Carmenita, from Regular Show.
- The Coolmobile and the Phooeymobile are capable of flight, provided that their owners don't press a wrong button first.
- Dick Dastardly's Mean Machine is equipped with helicopter rotors that can make him airborne and take the lead from the other racers ("The Baja Ha-Ha Race"). But instead of actually trying to win the race via those means, he stops for one his regular failures to stop the others.
- The SheHicle in SheZow has a flight mode, as explained in the show's Expository Theme Song:
SheHicle revs with power supremeBecoming a plane and a submarine
Many many many attempts have been made in real life at combining automobiles and aircraft, as you'll see below, but the idea has never gotten off the ground (pun intended) for the same reason combined baseball/football stadiums went out of style: their functional needs are so different, making something that does both only succeeds in making it lousy at one and horrible at the other. Not only are such vehicles clunky to operate, but they are also expensive to purchase and burn a lot of fuel while in use, meaning there's not the least bit of practicality. People who pursue this concept are in it only for the Rule of Cool.
- Top Gear's James May made a documentary on the subject, concluding that despite the safety concerns the main problem with flying cars would be the paperwork.
- Not forgetting that he actually created a flying caravan by combining it with a blimp. Okay it isn't technically a car, it drifted into the airspace of an airport (and path of incoming aircraft), and he didn't get anywhere near where he wanted to go...but at least he threw his hat over the wall.
- Vaporware example: the Moller Skycar.
- The Moller website does have some lovely quotes, though:
You've always known it was just a matter of time before the world demanded some kind of flying machine which would replace the automobile. [...] No matter how you look at it the automobile is only an interim step on our evolutionary path to independence from gravity. That's all it will ever be.
- Several others have been tried.
- There was even a flying Pinto..
- Of course making it fly safely is only the first step, you then have to get FAA approval and find backing. the Taylor Aerocar managed the second step, but not quite the third.
- The Moller website does have some lovely quotes, though:
- The ParaJet SkyCar is an unusually simple example. It looks like a dune buggy with a parawing and a propeller strapped to the back. Largely because that's exactly what it is. But it works! As a bonus, if the engine fails or runs out of fuel, the buggy will simply glide to the ground with its "wing" acting as a parachute, rather than suffer a deadly crash. Judging from the design, the main purpose will be fun and recreation.
- Urban Aeronautics' proposed VTOL aircraft certainly looks like a large flying car, though flying cars is not what the company intends to create (they want to build aircraft useful for rescue operations, and other non-personal uses). However, the goal is to build a compact, safe, quiet, relatively easy-to-control aircraft that is capable of operating in an urban environment, including safely manoeuvring between buildings while dealing with turbulence, and is capable of remaining airborne while in contact with a physical object (like, say, the side of a building). It certainly sounds like the company may inadvertently take a big step towards creating working flying cars if they succeed. Currently they have a scale prototype undergoing extensive flight testing.
- Boeing sunk six million dollars into something called the "Sky Commuter" program in the 1980s. This prototype, which was apparently sold on Ebay in 2008, is all that remains. It looks beautiful, and very much like a proper science fiction flying car, but it seems it did not fly particularly well.
- This lot look like they might be close to actually selling transforming flying cars commercially. Hope you have $200,000 on you, though.
- While other flying car designs are more like "airplanes you can drive on the road", this I-TEC design is more like "a car that can also fly". It only gets 40 MPH in the air, but it's pretty speedy on the road (see around 2:50 in the video), and the company seems to have serious plans for what they want to do with it.
- Despite coming at the same problem from opposite directions, both the Transition and the I-TEC exhibit the same problem as all similar vehicles: They either make lousy cars and worse planes, or lousy planes and worse cars, so there's little reason why anyone who actually likes flying or driving would want to own either of them.
- The Avrocar, best noted for its "unsolvable thrust and stability problems."
- Volkswagen's China branch appears to have come up with a floating car. This particular concept car relies on magnetic levitation instead of conventional engines, meaning it'll require a lot of specialized infrastructure to be drivable. Unfortunately, the video relies completely on Computer-Generated Images, despite the explanation given.
- Hovecrafts, technically. Well, they don't actually touch the ground when in motion. It happens that their flight ceiling is about an inch.
- It's only yours for $350 grand!
- Aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont liked to tool around Paris in his one-man airship.
- Meet the AeroMobil 3.0, "the first genuine flying car"
- And Toyota has filed a patent for a flying car.
- Drones appear to be taking on the role of flying cars.