A wise-ish man sporting harem pants once said, “I always believe that the sky is the beginning of the limit.” Sure, the prancing philosopher in question is MC Hammer, but his observation might be shared by some of the individuals who are currently trying or have already attempted to get humankind safely airborne in a vehicle that can also deliver us to the grocery store via the traditional method-driving the family car.
Did You Know?
- In 1917 the Curtiss Autoplane was unveiled at the Pan-American Aeronautical Exposition. It never flew, but it had a heater to keep passengers warm.
- In a classic case of putting the apple before the cart in 1932 both the US and USSR were dumping money into trying to perfect flying tanks.
- The Waterman Aeromobile was made from Studebaker and Ford parts when it debuted in 1934 in an effort to keep its price lower.
- In the mid-1940s the Convair Models 116 and 118 looked exactly what you’d think a flying car would look like-a car with wings stuck on top. It flew 66 test flights before it crashed and was grounded.
- The AVE Mizar, (better known as the Flying Pinto) was half Pinto, half Cessna. In 1973 it crashed, killing its inventor.
- In 1950 Robert Fulton Jr.’s Airphibian was the first aircraft that was street legal to be certified by the Civil Aviation Administration.
- Currently, several flying cars are in the manufacturing stages with companies stating their vehicles will be available as early as 2018.
- Most of these vehicles are legal to fly under a Federal Aviation Administration category for ultralight aircraft (such as gliders).
- The Long, Weird History of the Flying Car
- A History of the Flying Car
- The Flying Pinto That Killed its Inventor
- No Longer a Dream: Silicon Valley Takes on the Flying Car
- The Future of Fly Cars: Science Fact or Science Fiction
- Here Are 6 Flying Cars That Really Happened
- Cover Image: Lilium Aviation
If you liked this story, sign up for the Weekly Memo, a handpicked selection of the most Interesting Shit delivered to your inbox every Saturday. Or join our 200,000+ followers by liking us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter or Instagram.