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   Undertoad  Sunday Sep 10 01:05 PM

September 10, 2006: Aerocar



It's become almost cliche since the year 2000: we were promised flying cars, where are our flying cars?



There was one, it turns out! Jacquelita forwards this set of photos of the Aerocar, which was first built in 1949.



There were only six of these ever built, and at a rather slow rate. The one shown here was finished in 1960, the fourth one. It turns out that, according to Wikipedia entry on the car, the third one was once ridden by that Raul Castro - Fidel's brother, and the guy currently running Cuba. Unfortunately for Raul, it ran out of fuel and crashed. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, it only damaged the vehicle and not Castro himself.




You couldn't get me in one of these - ever, but it didn't go all that fast anyway. The official specs:

Crew: 1
Wingspan: 10.4 m
Length: 7.0 m
Height: 2.1 m
Wing area: 17.7 sq. m
Empty weight: 680 kg
Takeoff weight: 952 kg
Engine: 1x Lycoming 0-320-A1A, 148 hp
Max. speed: 220 km/h
Cruise speed: 200 km/h
Ceiling: 3650 m
Takeoff roll: 200 m
Landing roll: 92 m
Range: 800 km
Payload: 1 passenger

But where's our flying car? Well there is an Aerocar website with a Lotus Elise convertible bolted onto an airframe:



But again, not for me - I'll take a separate convertible and plane, please, thank you very much. Way too much to go wrong, if they ever get it up in the air at all.



milkfish  Sunday Sep 10 01:38 PM

It would go faster if it had a decent set of tailfins. Well, what did they know in 1949?



MaggieL  Sunday Sep 10 01:52 PM

The Experimental Aircraft Association has one at their museum.

http://www.airventuremuseum.org/coll...%20Aerocar.asp





Now there's this



xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Sep 10 02:50 PM

The Aerocar, with a Lotus Elise convertible bolted onto an airframe, using a car that's already street legal, sounds like a logical plan. I can't help but wonder, however, how the suspension and tires for a 1500 lb car will stand up to landing a 3500 lb aircraft? Also, how will the cooling system(radiator) designed for a 1.8L, 4 cylinder, 190 hp engine, handle a twin-turbocharged 2.5 liter V8 engine that produces 350 hp?

I remember the Popular Science/Mechanix Magazine covers showing various iterations of flying cars. They always showed the sky in the background littered with the things going every which way. I hoped that was a misleading artists conception, and they would have to follow FAA flight rules, patterns and protocols. You know, like everyone obeys traffic laws on the ground.

If you think bird poop is a problem, wait till all your friends and neighbors take to the air.



The 42  Sunday Sep 10 03:04 PM

I want one!

Can I have that turkey? I havn't been able to think what to make for dinner



capnhowdy  Sunday Sep 10 07:10 PM

Not even close to George Jetson's standards.



busterb  Sunday Sep 10 09:02 PM

You eat Buzzard?



Sperlock  Sunday Sep 10 09:39 PM

People are idiotic enough driving on the road; the last thing we need is those same idiotic people flying in the air and crashing into some house or store.



astrodex  Sunday Sep 10 11:59 PM

I consider these to be planes that you can drive not flying cars. Perhaps it is a subtle distinction to some but not to me. "The Fifth Elelment." Now those were flying cars.



MaggieL  Monday Sep 11 06:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by astrodex
I consider these to be planes that you can drive not flying cars. Perhaps it is a subtle distinction to some but not to me. "The Fifth Elelment." Now those were flying cars.
Well, antigravity drive would indeed be nice. For now you'll have to settle for something with wings, or perhaps "powered lift" a la Moller Skycar:

Of course the Moller's not roadable, but who cares? You could land it almost anywhere people won't lynch you for the noise.


glatt  Monday Sep 11 09:35 AM

Anybody remember "The Man With The Golden Gun?" Bad guy had a car that he pulled into a garage, bolted a wing and a tail to, and flew away off into the distance.



MaggieL  Monday Sep 11 09:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sperlock
People are idiotic enough driving on the road; the last thing we need is those same idiotic people flying in the air and crashing into some house or store.
So far none of these have been legally flyable unless the operator holds a valid pilot's licence.


JayMcGee  Monday Sep 11 07:43 PM

JB had a licence to kill... does'nt that count?



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Sep 11 08:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieL
So far none of these have been legally flyable unless the operator holds a valid pilot's licence.
That only means having been taught what they should do....not a guarantee of what they will do.
Fortunately bad judgement usually won't be didplayed more than once.


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