12 Incredible Cars You Can See In The Sky
If you were born in or before the 90s, you’re surely familiar with the cartoons The Jetsons and at one time, you also dreamed of having your own flying car. Well, dream no more because surprisingly, there are actually cars out there that can fly! You’ll even be surprised to know that some of the flying cars are almost a century old, while some will be released in the market very, very soon.
1. Taylor Aerocar
You won’t believe that this roadable aircraft, simply called the Aerocar, was manufactured almost seven decades ago! Its designer, Moulton Taylor, figured that he could build a car that could turn into an airplane if he built the vehicle with foldable wings. These wings, which were towed with the tail at the back, allowed the driver to convert the road vehicle into a plane in just five minutes. The Taylor Aerocar could go at 60 mph top speed on the road and 110 mph in the air. Unfortunately, it didn’t reach the production stage and only six examples of this vehicle were made.
2. Curtiss Autoplane
If the Taylor Aerocar was built in the late 40s, the Curtiss Autoplane was built in the early 1900s — 1917 to be exact. This vehicle was in fact named as the first roadable aircraft to be ever built. The Autoplane could sit one pilot in the front and two passengers in the back. On the road, the wings would detach from the autoplane and the propeller was used to move the vehicle. Unfortunately, even though the Autoplane could lift from the ground, it wasn’t able to achieve full flight during its test runs.
3. Tampier Roadable
Just a few years younger than the Curtiss Autoplane, the Tampier Roadable successfully flew during the Paris Air Salon in November 1921. When on the road, the wings of the bi-plane were folded and another set of wheels was added to stabilize the vehicle. However, even though the Roadable could fly with speed in the air, it could only reach 15 mph when driven on the road.
4. Fulton Airphibian
Manufactured in 1946, the Fulton Airphibian was a roadable aircraft developed by Robert Edison Fulton, Jr. Its four wheels were aircraft-sized and its wings were detachable from the back, converting it from a road vehicle into an airplane. Although the Airphibian got the approval of the Civil Aeronautics Administration and was successfully flown, this flying car never reached production due to lack of investors.
5. ConvAirCar Model 118
Also called the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft, the ConvAirCar was another attempt to build a flying car, which became a trend after World War II. On the road, the car was powered by a 25-hp engine while the plane was powered by a 190-hp engine. The wings of the ConvAirCar could be detached and was towed at the back when the vehicle was running on the road. Although this flying car was built for production, only two prototypes were built before the program was ended.
6. Bryan Autoplane
The designer of the Bryan Autoplane, Leland D. Bryan, started to build this flying car in 1953. The wings of the Autoplane spanned 22 feet and could be folded in two. The propeller of the plane was the power source when the vehicle was on the road.
Three versions were built and it was recorded that all three Autoplanes had 1,000 miles on the road and flew a total of 65 hours. Unfortunately, Bryan died when the third Autoplane crashed after a wing of the plane wasn’t locked properly.
7. AVE Mizar
The Advanced Vehicle Engineers Mizar, simply called AVE Mizar, was another roadable aircraft built in the early 70s. It was simply a hybrid of a Ford Pinto and a Cessna Skymaster. The Mizar had wings on top of the vehicle, unlike the other flying cars that were towed when driven on the road. Although the AVE Mizar was poised to become a production car, its designer and its pilot were killed during a test flight, which halted the development of this car.
8. Panoz Esperante Flying Car
Built for the TV show Monster Garage, builder and host Jesse James attached parts of an airplane (wings, tail, and engine) to a Panoz Esperante production car. James then attempted to fly the car on the same area where the Wright Brothers first flew their aircraft. The Panoz Esperante was able to fly for a total of three seconds at a speed of 80 mph.
9. Moller M400 Skycar
This flying car, a prototype designed by Paul Moller, can both take off and land vertically. Still under development, the M400 is designed to carry four passengers and could be the next big thing in transportation after its development.
10. Terrafugia Transition
The Terrafugia Transition is considered a light sport roadable airplane that is expected to be released in 2017. While in the sky, the Transition can fly 425 nmi or 489 mi and run at 93 kn or 107 mph. On the road, this flying car can speed up to 70 mph. Although still poised for production, it was reported that there are already 100 customers who have paid their deposits to purchase the Transition.
11. AeroMobil s.r.o.
The AeroMobil s.r.o. has been under constant development for more than two decades now and is expected to be released to the market in 2017. According to the manufacturer, it is built for “wealthy supercar buyers and flight enthusiasts.”
Short for Personal Air and Land Vehicle, the PAL-V is a gyrocopter that has a foldable propeller and a free-spinning rotor that enables the vehicle to fly. On the road, the power to the rotor and propellers is halted, giving its three wheels the force to move. Like the AeroMobil s.r.o. and Terrafugia Transition, the PAL-V will be released to the market in 2017.
With so many flying vehicles due to be released soon, don’t be shocked to see cars in the sky in 2017.