As we’re sitting on the motorway, bumper to bumper with only the sight of miles of traffic to entertain us, we daydream about flipping our car into flight-mode and shooting upwards and onwards over the traffic miles below. The abundance of science fiction films and children’s cartoons have got us all hoping for sky high highways and while we’re waiting with baited breath, we want to know if this fantasy is any closer to becoming a reality than it was when the first motorists took to the roads?
The question is when will all be hovering about in our brand new flying cars like the Jetsons? We’ve invented the car and we’ve invented the aeroplane so surely the next logical step would be the invention of the flying car, right?
Fantasy vs. Reality
In reality flying cars already exist, the technology has been developed and if you’ve got enough money you can actually buy a flying car. Don’t get too excited though, the term ‘flying car’ here is used in its most literal sense and probably isn’t exactly what you had in mind.
This vehicle is called the ‘Transition’ and it technically does what a flying car should do; it’s a safe and roadworthy vehicle that can be driven as you would a normal car but it also transforms into a plane. When in ‘car mode’ the Transition’s wings are folded inwards and the wings then fold out to create a very normal looking plane which appears to have all the capabilities of a conventional small private plane. However, that also means that it’s not simply a case of flipping a switch and flying away, you’ll still have to drive to an airport to take off and land.
It is a vehicle that acts as both a car and a plane which technically makes it a flying car but it’s a far cry from our fantasy of the sleek, futuristic car that we can fly around above our cities; weave around skyscrapers and then touch down gently in our driveways.
Will It Ever Be A Reality?
When you consider the enormously fast developments in technology over recent years, it seems a given that sooner or later we’re bound to invent the flying car. If we can go from radios and black and white televisions to tablet devices and high tech mobile phones in less than 100 years then surely flying cars are parked just around the corner? Especially when we simply need to combine to technologies that we already have!
Regrettably, although we have already developed these two technologies, research suggests that that they may be simply too different to combine in the way that we had in mind. A flying car has to be light and nimble enough to fly while being strong and robust enough to stay on the roads; the extensive research into this combined technology seems to suggest that striking such a precise and delicate balance between the two in order to make our fantasies into a reality is simply not yet possible.
Unfortunately, it seems that we’ve only got as far as developing a vehicle that can be used as both a car and a plane; not a flying car. That’s not to say that it can never happen though! Maybe we’ll be zipping around the skies, up to the moon and among the stars sooner than we know? Until then, we’ll all have to stick with our boring old non-flying normal cars and daydreaming in traffic jams.