They’ve been the stuff of movies and scientists’ wildest dreams for decades – but could the reality of flying cars be closer than we think?
In 1940 Henry Ford told the world, ‘Mark my word: A combination airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come.’
And 73 years on, flying cars may well be on their way to becoming a reality. This year “roadable aircraft” was showcased at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture event in Wisconsin, USA and plans are now in place to gain full certification for flying cars in the US.
Although flying cars are more likely to gain approval in the US before they’re accepted in the UK, they’re certainly on their way to proving that they are a viable form of transport. And when they do arrive, they could transform the way we travel.
What could flying cars be used for?
It’s unlikely that we’ll ever use flying cars as our go-to domestic vehicle. For safety reasons they’ll always need to take off and land at an airport.
But imagine if you could travel to the airport in the same vehicle that you were going to fly to your destination in, and then drive to your accommodation in the same vehicle too.
Flying cars could make travelling more streamlined, merging the driving and flying elements into one and helping us get to our destination quicker.
But they could be used for much more than that.
Flying cars could also be used to reach remote areas and provide a vital lifeline for delivering medical aid to hard-to-reach areas during humanitarian missions.
Overcoming the cultural hurdles
Unfortunately, flying cars still have some way to go before they’ll be widely used. They must fulfil both car and aviation safety standards and be fully approved by the safety authorities.
But overcoming the cultural hurdles is an even bigger challenge.
Many people are too scared to fly on an aeroplane, so convincing them that they are safe travelling in a flying plane could prove to be tricky.
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Flying cars need to gain cultural acceptance before the public will accept them as the norm. It’s a case of gaining their trust and proving that they’re safe.
What do you think? Would you enjoy travelling in a flying car? Perhaps you think cars should keep four wheels safely on the ground – let us know!