A flying car is a personal flying machine that does not require special equipment, runways, or traffic routes. Flying cars differ from commercial aircraft such as airliners, helicopters, and jets. Flying cars are designed to hold only a few people and are no larger than a regular automobile. While flying car designs have been in the works for over a century, it is still unclear whether a flying car would operate via magnetic forces, anti-gravity, or standard aerodynamics. What is clear, however, is that society is on the verge of actually having personal flying cars. In fact, one model is already on the market.
Flying Cars in Science Fiction
Futuristic flying cars have constantly been presented in science fiction since the Wright brothers flew the first airplane in 1903. Cartoons like the Jetsons and classic movies such as Back to The Future, Flubber, and Blade Runner all feature futuristic flying cars with varying styles and designs. Flying cars have also been mentioned in novels such as The Number of the Beast and For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs by Robert A. Heinlein, and Sultana’s Dream by Begum Roquia Sakhawat Hussain and television sitcoms and films like That 70s Show and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Flying cars have also made an appearance in Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secrets, The Last Starfighter, and The Man with the Golden Gun.
Problems Facing Flying Cars
While people have been imagining flying cars for decades, there are several problems preventing them from becoming widely available to the general public. For example, flying car manufacturers must include all of the mechanisms and devices required to make a craft fly in a vehicle that is either the same size or only slightly larger than a regular automobile. Also, traffic routes must be created and all drivers wishing to pilot a flying car must learn them. Likewise, each driver will have to obtain a pilot’s license and prove themselves to be mentally competent to fly an aircraft. Additionally, the flying car itself must be cheap enough for customers to actually afford.
Moller Skycar M400
Moller International produced the Moller Skycar M400, a flying car that is on the market right now. The Moller Skycar M400 is a stylish, powerful, personal flying car that can cruise at speeds of 275 MPH and can reach up to an astonishing 375 MPH. The Moller Skycar M400 runs on environmentally friendly ethanol and has a fuel economy of 20 miles per gallon. This flying car can fit up to four persons and features emergency parachutes, 720 horsepower of continuous power with 1,155 horsepower of boost, and can travel 750 miles on one tank of gasoline.
The AirScooter II is a personal flying machine that is not yet available to the public, though two prototypes have been completed and have passed all flight tests. It fits one person and is more of a recreational vehicle than a family car. The craft works in much the same way as a helicopter does but has a much different design. For example, the AirScooter II has two rotors on top, two fan blades in the back, has no cover, and includes a motorcycle engine that was specifically designed for it. In fact, the craft itself is driven like a motorcycle and relies entirely on hand controls to lift it off of the ground, change direction, and move forward and backward.