Hubcap Hovercraft

This is a sci-fi trope in which a wheeled vehicle of some kind is capable of flying or hovering by simply rotating the wheels 90 degrees, usually up and into the vehicle in question. The hubcaps then become thrust-capable engines, propelling the vehicle upwards.


Comic Books

  • The DeLorean in Back to the Future Part II is the Trope Codifier. Turns out that by 2015, all cars can undergo a "hover conversion" like this.
    • The Time Train from the end of Part III also has these, except it has its own thrust engines - the wheels are still, for some reason, rotated by the steam pistons in their flying position.
  • Mater in UFM: Unidentified Flying Mater.
  • A rough-draft version of such a car appears in Captain America: The First Avenger when Howard Stark is showing off a futuristic car at the World Expo. However, it only floats for a few seconds before suddenly crashing.

  • Although it doesn't use this for flying, Ian Fleming's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang may be the Trope Codifier. To wit: the Pott family is picnicking on a beach, and the tide comes in. Mr. Pott turns a knob, causing Chitty's wheels to turn down and out in this manner. The car glides along the water exactly like a hovercraft.

Live-Action TV
  • In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. it seems that Howard Stark managed to produce at least one fully functional version of the prototype seen in Captain America. Agent Coulson calls it Lola.

  • The Foot Cruiser from the original Ninja Turtles toy line had wheels that folded under to give off this look, since the car is from Dimension X in the backstory. The toy itself couldn't fly, obviously.
  • Some of the M.A.S.K. cars were this.

Video Games

Western Animation