Flying cars that actually existed
Sci-fi stories would be incomplete without the main attributes of the genre - laser weapons, robots and, of course, flying cars. The main difference between these wonderful machines is that on earth they feel as comfortable as they are in the air. These cars are no different from ordinary, except the ability to fly, if you press the right button.
The 20th century brought us a lot of innovations, and it is not surprising that there were attempts to create a flying car. Some of them, indeed, were ingenious inventions, others just ridiculous fantasies. Below you will find ten great examples of flying cars, created since the beginning of the 20th century.
Curtis avtoplan - the world's first flying car, not counting those that existed in the pages of fantastic works. In 1917, aviation engineer Glen Curtis created it from an aircraft of his own design and a Ford Model T.The plane on which the construction was based was called the Test Model L, a triplane (three rows of wings) with a hundred horsepower engine (like a decent tractor).
The two front wheels, as in the car, turned with the steering wheel in the cab. To move the car on the ground and through the air should have been using a propeller mounted in the back. Unfortunately, this "air limousine" never flew, by all accounts at the most that he managed - a few short jumps. At the beginning of World War I, this car was completely abandoned.
Jess Dickson Flying Car
This flying car is almost a legend and in addition to this photo and a brief mention of the vehicle in the newspaper of Andalusia, Alabama, there is no evidence of its existence. The note says that the photo is captured by Jess Dickson, it was made somewhere around 1940. And although aviation history fans consider this car to be a flying car, it is nevertheless closer to the “riding helicopter”, due to the two upper blades rotating in opposite directions.
The car was set in motion by a small engine of 40 horsepower, and the foot pedals controlled the tail blade so that it could be turned in the air.Presumably, the car reached a speed of up to 100 miles per hour (160 km / h) and could fly forward, backward, turn and soar. Not bad for a flying car, which, in consequence, no one will hear anything else.
ConvAirCar or “Winged wheels”
Model 116 "Winged Wheels" took off for the first time in 1946, and looked like a small plane welded to a car. Essentially, it was. The wings, tail and propeller could detach from the car, turning it into an ordinary ground vehicle. Details of the aircraft existed in case of off-road.
The 116 model had only one prototype, which carried out 66 flights. A few years later, designer Ted Hall recreated this car as a model 118, replacing the engine with 130 horsepower with a more powerful one - at 190, it gave the vehicle more options in the air. Convair was planning to start mass production and start producing 160,000 of these cars, but it never came true because of a catastrophe with a prototype in California. When the pilot lifted the car into the air, he thought the fuel tank was full. But this car had two devices,showing the level of fuel - one for the car, the other for the aircraft, and while the tank for the car was really full, the fuel for the aircraft ended right in the air. This is the danger of multitasking.
VZ- 7 Curtis Wright
VZ -7 Curtis Wright is one of the first attempts by the US military to produce flying cars. Ideally, the VZ-7 was supposed to be something like a flying jeep. As an SUV, he had to allow the driver to overcome difficult terrain on the ground, but with a small bonus - the ability to fly. It was developed by Curtis Wright, which was formed after the merger of Wright (the Wright brothers) and Curtis Airplane (Glen Curtis). At the dawn of aviation, Curtis and the Wright brothers were fierce competitors.
VZ-7 was designed as a device with a vertical take-off and landing. He flew with the help of four vertical propellers placed behind the cockpit, which, in general, was an absolutely open space. To accomplish the maneuvers, the pilot could change the speed of individual propellers, tilt them forward, backward or to the side. However, this whole machine was essentially a death trap, since the propellers were not protected by anything. Just two years after launch, in 1960, the army banned this project.
Airgip Piaseckogo (Piasecki AirGeep)
When the VZ-7 landed forever, the army turned to a completely different prototype: the Piasecki VZ-8 AirGeep. It should be taken into account that by this time helicopters had already become popular, but the military was interested in something simpler than a helicopter, so that the training period could be reduced.
AirGeep went through seven different versions before it was finally declared unfit for military use, but they all retained the basic design: two large vertical propellers in front and behind, in the middle - the pilot's seat and three or four wheels for ground movement. The very first model was flat, later models were bent up front and back, resembling the shape of the letter V. The fleet even tried to equip one of the models with floats to use it on the water, but ultimately the idea was abandoned, and the program too.
In 1971, the famous California engineering company Advanced Vehicle Engineers decided to design a flying car that resembled the 1940s Winged Wheels. They took a Ford Pinto and welded a light aircraft Cessna Skymaster to the roof. The result was a fancy hybrid called AVE Mizar.
Half of the vehicle, which was a car, was practically no different from the usual Ford Pinto driving through the streets. The engine from Ford accelerated the plane to the speed necessary for takeoff, then the propellers began to work. After landing, the brakes helped slow down. Unfortunately, in 1973 - just a year before the mass production of such cars was to begin - the right wing of one of the experimental samples fell off right in the air. The car crashed to the ground, dragging along all its possible future.
Sky Super Motorcycle
Speaking about the present, it is just amazing how far we are from creating a real flying car. Here is a case in point: the Sky Butterfly motorcycle, which differs little from the legendary flying car, Jess Dixon. As the embodiment of the 40s, a flying motorcycle is an SUV with one propeller and a rotating tail to regulate the direction of flight.
The flying motorcycle was designed in 2009 and today it can be driven by anyone with a motorcycle driving license and a pilot's license.It is approximately 2.1 meters in length, which allows it to fit into almost any garage. Butterfly Aircraft LLC produces such gyro guns and sells them in the form of an assembly kit, which can be assembled at home. Perhaps this is not a bit of what most people think, imagining a flying car, but they are available to anyone who has an extra $ 40,000.
Monoblock Terrafugia (Terrafugia Transition)
In 2009, Terrafuggia made its first test flight. Since then, he has gone through a lot of renovations and upgrades, resulting in several completely new designs and a second test flight in 2012. In any case, this flying machine offers something very futuristic. It has the shape of an airplane with wings that fold and assume a vertical position while the car is on the ground. On the track, it can reach speeds of up to 110 km / h and up to 185 km / h - in the air.
The only problem the company encountered during the design process was that the car was too heavy to meet the requirements of the FAA (Federal Aviation Agency) due to road safety devices (bumper, airbags, etc.).In 2010, the FAA allowed designers to deviate somewhat from the rules, which changed the classification of the vehicle and made it easier to obtain a pilot’s license. Unfortunately, this car still costs more than Lamborghini.
Flying machine PAL-V One
Dutch design PAL-V One makes the necessary style and a huge change in the traditional format of gyro. Take at least the engine that automatically switches between the tires and the propeller, depending on whether there is contact with the ground.
It is particularly interesting that it is designed for flights at an altitude of no more than 1200 meters, that is, you do not have to submit a flight plan for using it, and this is a huge obstacle for flying cars in our time. All this can eventually lead to “digital corridors” managed by GPS and to invisible tracks in the sky, which will allow air traffic to remain organized as on a regular highway.
UAV Air Mule (AirMule)
The AirMule looks more like an onboard ambulance than a car, but the idea is the same. It was designed by the Israeli company "City Aeronautics". The main purpose of this car - help when searching and saving people.It can develop the same speed as a normal helicopter, but it takes 2 times less airspace, so it can penetrate places inaccessible to the helicopter.
Perhaps you will say that this car is similar to the Airgeep, which the American military tried to create in the 70s. But it has one significant difference: it is remotely controlled. AirMule is really unmanned, which means that either it will save lives, or destroy it. In any case, it will not necessarily be controlled by the autopilot. Urban Aero plans to use remote pilot and flight control tools in real time - a bit like flying in a complex video game.