How Close Are We Really to Flying Cars?

More importantly, are they even practical?

5. 19. 17 by Chelsea Gohd
Coneyl Jay/Getty

Flying Cars? Really?

Flying cars have been a fixture of science fiction for just about as long as it’s been an understood and practiced genre. Vehicles that can gracefully swoop around each other above our heads have, for so long, been out of reach, but more people than ever are currently working on seemingly plausible models of real-life flying cars.

So, let’s take a tour of our progress on the path to the flying car, starting with its earliest iterations. The team over at Part Catalog has helped us out by providing the gifs below.

Flying Car Hybrids

These vehicles, especially in the earlier years, look more like cars affixed to airplane wings than what you would imagine a flying car should look like. However, you can notice that the vehicles get a whole lot sleeker as the years move on.

1917 Curtiss Autoplane

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1937 Waterman Aerobile

1947 ConVairCar Model 118

1966 Aero-Car

1971 AVE Mizar

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2009 Terrafugia Transition

2014 AeroMobil 3.0

2017 AeroMobil 4.0

Heli Cars

These heli cars are, essentially, helicopters, but recent models are decidedly futuristic, crafted out of sustainable materials and powered by artificial intelligence (AI) software.

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1923 Pitcairn PCA-2

1936 Autogiro Company of America AC-35

1965 Wagner Aerocar

2012 PAL-V

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Hover Bikes

Take a large drone and attached a saddle to it, then step back to admire your new hover bike. These vehicles could provide an interesting alternative to the larger vehicles that many are designing. Who knows? This type of technology could morph into real-world pod racers.

1958 Curtiss-Wright VZ-7

1959 Chrysler VZ-6

1962 Piasecki VZ-8 Airgeep

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2008 Aeroflex Hover Bike

2017 Kitty Hawk Flyer

Turbine-Powered Craft

These strange crafts originally looked a lot like the typical UFO you’d find in an old movie. But, as you can see, they have developed into what many might see as the “classic” flying car design over the years.

1962 Moller XM-2

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1989 Moller M200X

1990 Sky Commuter

2003 Moller M400 Sky-car

2009 Urban Aeronautics X-Hawk

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2021 Terrafugia TF-X (concept included as Terrafugia has produced an actual flying car before with the Terrafugia Transition)

Speaking Realistically

As more and more inventors and companies hop on the flying car bandwagon, little question has remained as to whether or not creating these vehicles is possible. It is, and many flying cars are already ready for action. The real question is how realistic it would be to use them in real-world settings. Having the technology isn’t enough. It’s needs to be practical as well. The flying car is here, but are we ready for it?


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