A century-long journey in the sky.
The first patent for a flying car dates back to 1901 when Joel Trout Rice filed documents to “declare” he has invented “certain new and useful improvements in flying-machines,” providing “full, clear, and exact description of the invention, such as will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and use the same.” Ever since then, people have been working to optimize the concept of the flying car and finally make it real and commercially available for the masses. Many companies have also been involved in the development of flying cars and most recently, Hyundai became the first automaker to launch a flying car division.
Gallery: 8 flying cars rendered based on original patents
Scottish leasing comparison start-up, LeaseFetcher, decided to pay tribute to “all the car designers with their heads in the clouds” with a series of eighth renderings, showing flying cars brought to life from their original patents. The compilation begins with Henry J Snook’s flying car from 1912, which uses a pair of giant revolving corkscrew propellers. The next drawing takes us to 1939 and Bruce L Beals Jr’s flying machine, which relies on a more conventional design.
It was 1959 when Einarsson Einar patented its futuristic flying vehicle, which transforms itself from air- to road-vehicle “by means of seamless flaps and hidden compartments for the propellers.” Fast forward to 1996, when Jung-Do Kee’s flying car was registered - the Korean designer basically installed wings and a propeller on a Renault 5. Bradford Sorensen's flying car from 2001 offers a radically different solution with counter-rotating blades.
In 2003, Larry D Long’s flying car was born and patented with multiple horizontal and vertical propellers, plus a design inspired by the conventional motor cars. 13 years later, Akash Girendra Barot presented his concept with four vertical lift rotors and this rendering envisions it as a “Corolla-in-the-sky.”