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ISSUE 52 - February 2009
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There! On EBay ! The everlasting dream of a flying car. Moulton B. Taylor’s good old N103D. Mine for the buying. No waiting. No problems. Buy it – fly it.

Amazingly all six prototypes of the Aerocar survived to this day. One of course is on display at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, another is on view at the Golden Wings Museum at Blane, Minnesota and still another, in flying condition, is at the Kissimmee Air Museum. Florida. Aerocar 3 (shown here) can be seen on display at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

Great. But where is mine? I’m going to Las Vegas this weekend and want to drive by the local airport, take off for McCarren Field, land and drive to the hotel. I’ve been waiting since around 1905 or so.

I’ve had a lot of proposals. A fella named Logan said I’d be flying and driving in a year. That was 1917. I’m still waiting on him.


Gustave Berman of Holyoke, Massachusetts promised ‘no problem’ and patented this design for a flying car in 1929.


Years went by. Lots of promises. Most never get off the page, let alone off the ground. The few that got built suffered from impracticality and lack of funds brought on by limited appeal. Seems not everyone wants a flying car.

Convair offered Brian Wang’s removable wing/tail configuration.

And Chrysler tried one, the flying jeep, but didn’t pursue it.

The Si Fi guys jumped in with their ideas

Even the Russian Si Fi guys contributed.

The venerable Ford Pinto was pressed in to service as fuselage, drive and powerplant to form the Ave-Mizar. Seen flying successfully around Van Nuy’s California for a time, AVE Mizar was a project by a former Northrop engineer. It consisted of a Cessna Skymaster rear attached to the Ford Pinto and planed to sell for $25,000. The project didn’t survive the untimely crash of the prototype.

How hard can it be? Jesse James (yes he’s a relative and namesake – and married to Sandra Bullock) built a flying car in a week for the Discovery Channel’s program Monster Garage. He then successfully drove it down the runway and got it airborne at Kitty Hawk, N.C. on March 3, 2005.

Lately my longing has been reawakened by news of the Terrafugia. In Massachusetts, Carl Dietrich claims Terrafugia is the first design where the wings fold up automatically and are part of one vehicle. No need to trailer your wings and tail parts.

Then suddenly there was what seemed to me to be a REAL flying carpet. Vertical take off and land. Fly from anywhere. Two seater. Attractive. Practical. All carbon fiber and Kevlar. Even sexy looking. The Sky Commuter. To me this was a workable approach. Designers, entrepreneurs and dreamers have labored since cars and airplanes came on the scene, yet none made such an impression on me as did this ”Sky Commuter”. The name said it all. Finally I thought, after eighty years of waiting (no one is more patient than I) a flying carpet.

Begun in the 1980s, I’ve been told there were as many as sixty investors. Rumor has it that Boeing was some how involved and that engineers from that company in Arlington, Washington were at the heart of the project. Who knows for sure, but it’s not important anymore for once again another ‘flying car’ is gone. The project appears to have produced three concept aircraft before being closed down for reasons unknown.

Expenses, reportedly $6 million spent bringing The Sky Commuter to fruition, were too much, and not only was all work stopped, but it seems two of the prototypes were destroyed along with their molds and tooling. One prototype escaped destruction and found its way to, where else? EBAY.

But fret not. There are MANY projects afoot to bring us our flying car. Success is just around the corner. We’ll all have flying cars in no time. Pick your favorite. If not a Jetson-like M200X 2-passenger VTOL from the venerable Moller stable, then perhaps a CellCraft G440 from Gizo Designs will capture your heart, as it has mine. As soon as I find out where to put down my next deposit.


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