The Past Dreams of a Flying Car for Your Daily Commute [w/ video]
In this version of Throwback Thursday, we’ll give the cheesy car ads a break, in favor of “visions of future’s past.” This magazine article from 1957 envisions a world in which every driveway has a flying saucer (and perhaps every kitchen has a nuke-proof fridge). It is a fantastical idea, but of course the march of time would dash this hopeful dream. These images come from a 1957 issue of “Mechanix Illustrated” via Retronaut. The cover story is about this concept of a personal flying saucer that is capable of VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing), and could be parked simply in the back yard of one’s house. It also suggests that the added speed of a vehicle like this would mean a 75-mile commute would be completed in just 30 minutes. RELATED: Three-Rotor Copter Set to Change Civilian, Military Designs Forever The concept proposes that a central fan unit would create the downward thrust, while a rear prop could move the saucer forward at speeds of 165-mph. Too bad the technology of the time could not have afforded those of the 1950s such a wild way to get to work.
Flash forward to today, and we have accepted the unfulfilled promise of the flying car. But there are products that can one day come close to this vision of the future. Terrafugia fist constructed a vehicle that could fly but was also street legal. The “Transition” was more of a drivable plane than a flying car.
PHOTOS: See More of the Terrafugia Transition
But its followup project, the TF-X, makes the personal flying car a little more of a reality. Instead of large wings, it has two rotating blades and smaller wings, like a military V-22 Osprey.
Terrafugia says because of this design, operators do not need a pilot’s license. This might be a nightmare for regulators, but it is a strong step in the right direction for making the vision from the 1950s a reality.
Welcome to Throwback Thursday. This is our new feature where we’ll look back at car reviews and ads from days done by and poke fun at how ridiculous our hair looked from decades past. Enjoy!