People Still Insist This Flying Car Will Arrive By 2017, Despite Crash

Illustration for article titled People Still Insist This Flying Car Will Arrive By 2017, Despite Crash

Another day, another promise that flying cars are just over the horizon. It’s like that movie Groundhog Day except Bill Murray’s character wakes up once every six months to a new world where he’s completely forgotten the media’s promises of flying cars from six months ago.

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From WGBH:

You are now living in the future.

No, it’s not because you have access to the entire world’s knowledge via a phone in your pocket. And it’s not because of virtual reality, or the 3D printing craze.

The future is here because, in 2017, you’ll be able to buy a flying car. Seriously.

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Stop it. Just stop it. Your flying car is not coming by 2017. Even if we generously describe the AeroMobil as a flying car, it still hasn’t even gotten approval from the FAA. I don’t know how many times I have to write this post.

The funniest part about the WGBH writer’s bizarre claim is that he discounts that whole “entire world’s knowledge via a phone in your pocket.” That’s actually the future part, guy!

He’s absolutely right that we’re living in the future. Well, somebody’s future at least. But it’s not because so-called flying cars are on the horizon. They’re not. They don’t make any fucking sense. Stop saying that they’re a symbol of the “real” future. I realize that flying cars have been promised to Americans for a century. But we need to stop fetishizing this one symbol as the only true barometer of future-ness.

You want to see what AeroMobil’s flying car looked like in May?

Illustration for article titled People Still Insist This Flying Car Will Arrive By 2017, Despite Crash
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Yep. It crashed. Because that’s what flying cars do. And that’s okay! Experiments crash.

But that’s not the lone reason that this flying car isn’t coming to showrooms by 2017.

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We’ve actually had flying cars for decades. But nobody wants them. At least not in the form and price that all these companies like AeroMobil are trying out. We know how to make an airplane that also drives. We have for a while now. It isn’t a question of technological breakthrough when it comes to the AeroMobil. It’s a question of practicality—these vehicles need plenty of space to take-off and land, for example, and cost far more than even a luxury car.

Until we have affordable, driverless vertical take-off and landing vehicles, the flying car will remain a dream for the vast majority of humans on this Earth. And that’s okay. I just ask that you stop telling me that these flying cars are two years away. If I’m wrong, I will literally eat the sun.

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DISCUSSION

lostengineer
lostEngineer

May I throw some loose change at this?

First, A flying car is an unholy union of vastly different widgets. A FMVSS certified car has more in common with a Patton Tank then an airplane. The requirements are just too vast. Airplanes want lightness, cars want armor. However a flyable motorcycle is a much different creature. A homebuilt flying motorcycle might even be a financial possibility. http://www.caravella.aero/.

Secondly, until anti-gravity comes out, vertical lift will be a dream. A vertically flying vehicle must lift it’s whole weight without cheating (wings, wheels etc). To put that in perspective, put your car in neutral and try push it around your drive way. Hard huh? Now dead lift it.

Short of some breakthrough, a flying car will be always be a traffic hopper. You drive out from your driveway, go to the local airport (a disappearing resource) and fly to your connecting airport, then to your destination. This is great for hopping over the 405, but will never have the demand to facilitate mass production. Without mass production, it will always be very expensive, so a rich person's business expense at best.