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"Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads."
Doc Brown, Back to the Future

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It's The Future and you want to 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!

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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 and 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. Nowadays, this trope is rarely played straight, at least not in its most literal form. The idea of flying vehicles being as common as cars in the future is still frequently used, but in modern works they're more likely to look like futuristic VTOL aircraft than actual cars that fly. It's also possible that with climate change now a primary concern, and with it the realisation that car emissions contribute a huge chunk to greenhouse gases, pollution and climate change effects, depictions of cars flying en masse may start to smack of environmental disregard, especially as less and less people today are opting to drive on-the-ground cars, in favour of taking—or demanding, if they don't have—mass public transit.

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There have been some real-life attempts at combining cars and aircraft, but rather than flying cars, they're better described as "road-able aircraft," basically small planes whose wings can be folded/removed so they can be driven on normal roads. However, 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 both. Such vehicles are expensive, clunky to operate in either form, and not the least bit fuel-efficient. One of the more serious problems is that as they are, in the eyes of the law, both automobiles and aircraft, meaning they require both a driver's licence and a private pilot's licence to operate. Still, there are attempts to fix this problem.

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.


Examples:

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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 Steampunk 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.
  • 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.
  • Wallace's Air Car in Pokémon Adventures. 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.

    Asian Animation 
  • Motu Patlu: Dr. Jhatka invents a flying car in "Pilot Training" that functions similarly to a plane.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Throughout the Marching to the New Wonderland series, the goats' cars can fly in the air.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
  • In Cavewoman, Gramps had a flying motorcycle.
  • Chassis was a comic book series built around the sport of rocket car racing.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • The Fantastic Four's Fantasti-Car.
  • Common in the world of Funky Koval. Some even have special features like onboard defense systems.
  • Gina from Gold Digger patented (and often destroyed) "Gina Mobile" can turn into one when needed.
  • The heroes main transportation in the first half of I Hunt Monstersis one named Kirby that they use to get around the world.
  • Iron Man: Tony Stark's flying Ferrari also counts.
  • 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.
  • Maglev cars are standard in Marvel 2099's Nueva York, not least because it's a Layered Metropolis where nobody who can afford it goes to ground level.
  • 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.
  • In The Scrameustache, Hover Tanks are used by the invading aliens Togons.
  • She-Hulk once had a flying car (a gift from a benevolent alien) but later lost it.
  • In the Marvel Universe, S.H.I.E.L.D. has a small fleet of flying cars.
  • Space Cabbie is a cabbie. In space. He ferries his fares around in Cab #7433 in the second half of the 22nd Century.
  • 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.
  • Superman:
    • In Action Comics #481, Superman had lost his powers, and needed something to help him fight Amazo. So he invented the Supermobile, a flying car capable of duplicating most of his powers, constructed of a super-hard metal, and Kryptonite-shielded.
    • Last Daughter Of Krypton: Before Krypton's destruction, Zor-El used to own a sleek flying vehicle which he used to take his daughter to his lab.

    Comic Strips 
  • 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.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Ben 10 fanfic Egypt on Anur Khufos, hovering landspeeders are a common technology on the titular planet, being the fastest way to cross its desert terrain.
  • 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.
    • A deleted scene from the sequel shows that Barb actually has a working wingless flying car powered by thrusters on the bottom.
  • 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.
  • Planet 51 features cars that hover a foot off the ground via some pad.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Absent-Minded Professor puts flubber into a car, and bombards it with gamma rays to make it levitate.
  • 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. Spoofed in CollegeHumor's "Back to the Future in ACTUAL 2015" when Doc Brown explains that not only aren't there any flying cars, people are too scared to fly for fear of fundamentalist hijackers.
  • The 2009 Russian film Black Lightning is a superhero movie where the protagonist is given a '66 Volga that has been used for a Soviet Superscience project. There's a Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight involving a flying Mercedes with upgraded technology piloted by the Big Bad.
  • The Spinners from Blade Runner have inspired replicas in countless boxsets.
  • 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?"
  • 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...
  • In Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the eponymous car can sprout wings and propellers and fly.
  • 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.
  • The French film Fantômas se déchaîne ("Fantômas Unleashed") ends with the titular villain escaping in a Citroën DS that converts into an airplane.
  • The Fifth Element has lots of these, of course. The Hero even drives a flying taxi for a living.
  • 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-semitic Henry Ford, all the car manufacturers have Jewish names.
  • In The Last Starfighter, Centauri's Cool Car is both a Flying Car and a starship.
  • 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. This was inspired by the a real-life modification designed to turn a car into this trope.
  • 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 students of Sky High (2005) go to school in a flying bus.
  • In Spaceballs, Lone Starr's flying Winnebago, the Eagle V. Princess Vespa's space car also qualifies. It was a Mercedes!
  • 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 a flying bike.
  • 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...
    • According to supplementary fluff, the ski-speeders in The Last Jedi were originally designed for racing, similar to the pod racers in The Phantom Menace. The Rebel Alliance acquired some of them and modified them as combat craft during the Galactic Civil War, and The Resistance was forced to use a very beat-up handful of the remaining ski-speeders against the First Order a generation later.
    • 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.
  • 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.

    Literature 
  • The 3rd World Products series. Though those were van to small bus size and larger.
  • In The Box Of Delights, the sorcerous villain has a car that can not only fly but take off and land vertically.
  • 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.
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: At first Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang is just a big and powerful car, but as the book progresses the car surprises the family by beginning to exhibit independent actions. This first happens while the family is caught in a traffic jam on their way to the beach for a picnic. The car suddenly instructs Commander Pott to pull a switch which causes Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang to sprout wings and take flight over the stopped cars on the road. Commander Pott flies them to Goodwin Sands in the English Channel where the family picnics, swims, and sleeps.
  • 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.
  • The Ganymede Takeover by Philip K. Dick and Ray Nelson had "ionscraft".
  • 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 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.
  • 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 in 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.
  • 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 to get her Aircar license.
  • 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.
  • Lucky Starr and the Rings of Saturn: While on Titan, Lucky is impressed by the diagravitic hovercars built by the Sirians. They're driven by robots, of course.
  • Isaac Asimov and Janet Asimov's The Norby Chronicles: The flying police cars, taxis, and other vehicles have antigrav motors.
  • 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.
    • "The Psychohistorians": The taxi Gaal uses to arrive at the Luxor hotel can fly vertically as well as accelerating in the air. It's used to indicate that events are taking place in the far future, when such antigravity transportation might be common.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • In Terra Ignota, flying cars are essential to the world, since they have been developed far enough to circle the globe in mere hours, allowing people to live in Europe, work on another continent and return home in time for dinner. A large portion of the plot is centered around the bash' house that runs the flying-car system for almost the entire world, something they have been doing for generations. It all can only function because set-sets, human computers specialized to an extreme for the calculation of millions of flight routes at once, have been developed.
  • 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.
  • Valhalla features flying cars called "pogos," named for their bouncing nature.
  • The aptly named SkyKar in Villain.net.
  • 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.
  • In the Zachary Nixon Johnson series, most cars are flying cars. Zach is frequently mocked for having an antique non-flying car.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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-granddaughter.
  • 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.
  • Automan could have Cursor instantly convert his Cool Car into a Cool Plane.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Third Doctor (while grounded on Earth by the Time Lords) briefly used a futuristic flying car dubbed by fans as "The Whomobile". It only flies briefly, since part of the point was that (unlike Bessie) the prop was actually road-legal.
    • The Fourth Doctor's companion Romana once remarked that she was given a flying car for her 70th birthday.
    • "New Earth" features flying cars. In the planet's second appearance, the cars have the worst traffic jam in the history of the universe in "Gridlock".
    • "Planet of the Dead": A London double-decker bus is modified with alien tech to be able to fly in order to escape back through a wormhole.
  • Flying Motor Bikes from Galactica 1980.
  • Professor McClaine's flying car in Joe 90 has about the most uncool design a flying vehicle ever had.
  • 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.
  • Supercar from the Gerry Anderson series of the same name.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): At the end of "Welcome to Winfield", The Grim Reaper Griffin St. George's car rises above the ground and he flies back to Heaven Above.

    Music 
  • Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me" - "I got a brand new Airmobile/it's custom made, t'was a Flight De Ville"
  • In Jaga Jazzist's Animated Music Video for "Animal Chin", the band travels in two ordinary-looking cars, which bounce wildly on the ground before inexplicably taking to the skies.

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    Radio 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Flying cars exist in Aberrant, but their use is restricted to police, emergency services and the military.
  • In Car Wars, one of the available modifications for your Weaponized Car is the capacity to deploy helicopter blades and fly. In game rules, a "tri-phibian" vehicle is one with this modification and the other available environmental modification: the capacity to become an Amphibious Automobile.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Air Car has an entry in GURPS Ultra Tech as a TL-9 technology, powered by four pod-mounted fans. The vignette at the start of the Vehicles chapter features an air-taxi driver in a superscience setting complaining that Anti-Gravity is putting him out of business.
    • They're reasonably common in Transhuman Space, although they're something of a luxury vehicle; four times the price of a (ground) smartcar, and the "What the Cost of Living Gets You in 2100" table in Changing Times puts them at Status 3 ("arcology mayor or rising enterpreneur") and are seen as a personal aircraft rather than a fancy car.
  • 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)
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • Beam Breakers was a computer game in which you drove antigravity cars in a The Fifth Element-esque city. It was also awesome...
  • A common power-up for your tank in the Blaster Master series.
  • Some of the Choro Q games have jet packs and wings as add-ons which allow your car to fly.
  • CrossOut has "Hover" wheel parts, which can turn any vehicle they are attached to either into one of these or a Hover Tank
  • 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.
  • Final Fantasy XV has the Regalia Type-F, a flying car that serves as this installment's airship. You'll need to beware of street poles while taking off or landing and avoid collisions mid-air though, as crashing it while in the air would result in a Non-Standard Game Over.
  • Fortnite's Battle Royale mode features an improvised flying bus called the Battle Bus. Its main components are a purple school bus and a hot air balloon, and its purpose is to load up 100 combatants who then parachute off the bus onto the island where the fighting takes place.
  • Hover cars seem to the norm in Future Cop: L.A.P.D., even if they still use roads.
  • The entire point of F-Zero
  • Grand Theft Auto Online saw the return of the Deluxo (previously only seen in Vice City and Vice City Stories) as one of these. It also has a small arsenal onboard.
  • 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.
  • Mario Kart 7 features cars that can turn into hang gliders.
    • And, in Mario Kart 8, the karts transform into a hovercraft for certain portions of certain tracks. Complete with fold-down wheels ala Back to the Future!
  • 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.
  • Night Striker, an "Into-the-screen" Shoot 'em Up has you play as one.
  • 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."
  • Rockman 7 EP: The Sisi Truck from Mega Man 7's Turbo Man stage appears in Freeze Man's stage as its midboss, converted into an aircraft.
  • The Rogue Squadron games have a cheat-only flying Buick Electra convertible as an Easter Egg.
  • Space Taxi simulates a flying taxi controlled by thrusters.
  • In Speed Kills, the more expensive vehicles hover above the ground (albeit not high enough to leave the track except by the same means that wheeled vehicles do).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Wario Land 4, you can upgrade Wario's car into a hovercraft by beating the game on Super Hard Mode.
  • Dribble and Spitz's taxi in the WarioWare series is capable of flight and space travel.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Webcomics 
  • The standard mode of transportation in Breakpoint City. Ben's doubles as a Time Machine.
  • John takes his dad's car, and does the windy thing to make it fly in Homestuck.
  • Schlock Mercenary: Flying cars have been standard for hundreds of years. They use the same technology that the military uses for their high-end uniforms (which double as Powered Armor), but much bulkier and cheaper. Of course, that same bulk means that traffic is far too dangerous for soldiers to fly around in, even with their expensive uniforms. But then, the self-driving algorithms that flying cars use mean that they are very good at preventing injuries. Several characters who fly into traffic find that their biggest problem with the traffic is that they can't touch any of the cars for Hood Hopping.
  • In Sinfest, Slick promises flying cars while running for president.
  • 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.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • About half of the cars in Batman Beyond, including the Batmobile, can fly. There are still roads though, covered with wheeled vehicles.
  • Cool McCool: The Coolmobile is capable of flight, provided that Cool doesn't press a wrong button first.
  • British cartoon hero Danger Mouse had what looked suspiciously like a flight-capable version of James Bond's Lotus Esprit.
  • The Falconcar on Dynomutt, Dog Wonder.
  • In the second series of Fantomcat, plenty of these are spotted in Metrocity.
  • 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.
  • Goldie of Goldie Gold and Action Jack has a flying limo.
  • Hong Kong Phooey: The Phooeymobile is capable of flight, provided that Phooey doesn't press a wrong button first.
  • Inspector Gadget: 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.
  • The Jetsons' jet-car, probably one of most-cited examples of a flying car as far as the general public's concerned.
  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: Do hovercars count?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 villainous counterpart the CPUs which look like flying police cars.
  • Pop's car, Carmenita, from Regular Show.
  • 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 SheHicle in SheZow has a flight mode, as explained in the show's Expository Theme Song:
    SheHicle revs with power supreme
    Becoming a plane and a submarine
  • Subverted in Skysurfer Strike Force, the heroes have cars that fly, but only if they are transformed into hoverboards.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) featured the Neutrino Star Crusers, flying cars from Dimension X that resemble 1950s hot rods, complete with copious amounts of chrome detailing. The Neutrinos leave one for the Turtles, though it later gets stolen by Shredder. It was depicted in the toy line as the Foot Cruiser (which could convert between land and air modes), although it only appeared as such in the arcade game and not in the series itself (and even in the game it was reduced to being a conventional land car).
  • 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 .
    • Blurr from the Movie onward was also a Cybertronian hovercar. Averted with his contemporaries Kup, Hot Rod, Arcee, and Springer, whose Cybertronian car modes all had wheels.
      • Springer brings it around again, though, by being a Triple Changer who can also transform into a helicopter - which is basically his car mode with the rear end and front bumpers folded, stretched, and extended outward to form the tail and wings, respectively, of the helicopter mode.
    • 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.
      • Megatron's vehicle mode in that series was a Cybertronian dragster that could also turn into a jet by mainly swinging his front bumpers around to the side and folding them out, and rotating his spoilers.
  • Wacky Races: 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.
    • Red Max's Crimson Haybaler, the Gruesome Twosome's Creepy Coupe and Pat Pending's Convert-a-Car are also capable of flight when needed.

    Real Life 
  • Top Gear (UK)'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 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, so impracticality isn't a concern.
  • 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 never flew.
  • 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.
  • Hovercraft, technically. Well, they don't actually touch the ground when in motion. It happens that their flight ceiling is about an inch.
  • Ground-effect vehicles (ekranoplans), especially those of smaller size, are even closer to this than hovercraft (to the point that the term arguably suits them a bit better). The only downside is that they work best above flat environments, such as the surface of the sea. While hovering, these vehicles can reach impressive speeds. Though most modern GEVs are commercially manufactured (e.g. the Ivolga, Burevestnik-24, Airfoil Development AirFish-8, Wingship Technology WSH-500, etc.), one Russian biology researcher living near Lake Baikal built his own home-made GEV in the early 2000s, by heavily modifying an old floatplane. Though his little ekranoplan can't fly at various altitudes above the lake anymore, only hover above it while getting around, the lake is famously huge. He can use virtually its entire surface as a roadway for his de facto home-made hovercar. In summer, it can hover down onto the water and land like an ordinary flotplane, and in winter, it carries skids instead of floats, for landings on the frozen lake.
  • It's yours for only $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.
  • Lilium is working on one with all the bells and whistles; it's quieter than a motorcycle, it can be summoned with a smartphone(that needs to be in the next Watch_Dogs game), and it's electric - with a 300 km range and per-hour speed.
  • In recent years, there has been a trend for proposing that human-carrying quadcopter drones could fill many of the functions of cars, such as taxis, police vehicles, ambulances, and even personal transport. Dubai, for example, hopes to introduce "drone taxi" services by 2020. While the drones certainly look nothing like cars, their intended function makes them in many ways the most recent incarnation of the flying car idea—and quite possibly the most likely to see widespread use.
  • The Hoffman Flying Jeep of 1943 was a genuine attempt to take the standard utility car used by the Allies and make it ubiquitous in a third dimension. It could be viewed as a genuine international collaboration: designed by a German refugee working for the British, who took an American car, redesigned it with a more aerodynamic body and tailplane, and added a massive helicopter rotor that transmitted the engine power into flight. The drawbacks were that the rotor blade was three times the length of the vehicle, it took a four-engined bomber to tow it into the air, and it wasn't all that aerodynamic when it flew. Despite this, Hoffman also experimented with a flying light tank on the same principles: but its rotor blades would have needed to be eight times the length of the tank to make it viable.
  • Overall, the biggest obstacle to flying cars isn't so much the cars themselves (after all, several designs have been shown to be very viable for the commercial market), but, as mentioned in the Top Gear entry above, the paperwork and the infrastructural nightmare it would be to make it accessible to the common commuter. A flying car operator would need two licences, one for driving, and one for flying, and an absolute mountain of registration and documentation to go with it. And those who have worked as an ATC or have listened to realtime ATC communications will know how chaotic a large airport can be on a busy day—now imagine taking that chaos and adding it to every major city in the world. Now add to that the law enforcement resources required for safety. And now add costs for the infrastructure of "skyways" and how in the world one plans to keep this all in working order. And now add where one intends to land and park the flying cars when they get to their destinations...and the task of creating standardized rules and regulations that will be easy to follow for flyers worldwide, and then....yeah. Suffice to say, calling this undertaking monumental is an understatement, to say the least.


 
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Alternative Title(s): Hover Car

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01 Versatran

Time To Fly. Versatran: "It's The Only Choice."

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