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Flying Cars
Question
A colleague shared this link to a flying car that’s now street legal in the Netherlands and developed and manufactured by PAL-V a Dutch company.  Its not a VTOL aircraft as it still needs a runway, but it’s a start in the right direction.

I know we now have Urban Air Mobility vehicles in development/test and if you didn’t manage to see the IET Aerospace/ADS webinar on this topic back in June, then you can still register to watch OnDemand.
 There’s also further resources on UAMs on the Flight Crowd website on UAMs which you may find interesting.

Being a sci-fi fan, I’ve always wished I could have one of the cars that feature in the two Blade Runner films, i.e. the original with Harrison Ford and the latest version with Ryan Gosling.  Just being able to do a VTOL and get out of a traffic jam would be great.  Al the thought of being able to fly at low levels interests me as well, as being into archaeology the idea of being able to view archaelolgical sites from the air would be excellent.

Looking ahead how far off we are in relation to the reality of a true flying car like the one in Blade Runner, is that too far off in the future or something that may be possible in this decade?

Finally, what’s your favourite movie ‘flying car’?  Does the De Lorean in the Back to the Future films count? 


 
2 Replies
Lisa Miles
1268 Posts
Mmm good question Deborah... 🤔

When someone says 'flying car' my immediate thought is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang but to be honest I still can't watch that film without hiding behind the sofa when a certain character appears on screen... 😱

I kinda like the flying taxi 'driven' by Bruce Willis in The Fifth Element but obviously the all time favourite has to be the De Lorean in Back to the Future... 😊
TonyM
2 Posts
A flying car which was basically a small, single seat airplane with demountable wings provision for driving and steering road wheels, and needed a straight runway (or road) for takeoff and landing, like the Dutch one, was built in USA in the 1950s (Aerocar?).
To achieve something like a Blade Runner car - or one as illustrated in many recent concept designs for urban air transport, you would now be looking at an enclosed, person-rated quad- or multi-copter drone design - and some already exist.
The problem is that providing for vertical lift requires much more power than is needed for regular airplanes, and making provision for forward movement requires tilting the whole machine or - like the US Osprey - tilting the wingtip rotor/propeller pods, which adds more weight.
You might expect prototypes within the next 10 years, but a lot depends on the development of new batteries with much bigger energy density than the present Li-ion types.

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