Where's My Flying Car?Where's My Flying Car?

They were supposed to be here long before now!!!
(click the image above for a full view)

This is not a new situation. Science has been predicting (and occasionally building) flying cars for decades:

Flying cars magazine covers

Click the links for the following stories:

Possibility or pipe dream: How close are we to seeing flying cars? USA Today, November 9, 2019. An excellent summary of the current situation with flying cars and a nice video showing many of the concepts. With companies like Uber, Boeing and Porsche getting involved, development is moving at a record pace, with a vast number of potential workable concepts. More are moving in the direction of electrical battery-powered drone-like concepts, as opposed to the more traditional internal-combustion designs of the past.

Meet the 24-year-old trying to build the world's 1st personal flying device Good Morning America (video), Nov. 19, 2019
OK, so not a Flying Car per sé—more like a Seqway in three dimensions. Looks like fun!

Flying Cars Are Real—And They’re Not Bad for the Climate The Atlantic, May 17, 2019
At least 16 companies are trying to build electric flying cars or taxis, according to Transport Up, a news site that follows the budding industry.

How Uber is getting flying cars off the ground CNET, September 25, 2018
By 2020, Uber plans to run its first test flights, before rolling out UberAir trials in 2023. The Uber Elevate website
has a very cool video. Summon an air taxi with your smartphone!

Watch this all-electric ‘flying car’ take its first test flight in Germany The Verge, April 20, 2017
Electric-powered (same battery as the Tesla) with vertical take off and landing!

Flying cars have always been a part of our collective imagination, for better or worse The Verge, June 9, 2016

Welcome To Larry Page’s Secret Flying Car Factories Bloomberg News, June 9, 2016
Covers 6 different serious efforts to produce a flying car, with a Bloomberg Businessweek audio cover story

Flying Car Will Go on Sale in 2017, AeroMobil Says CBC/Radio-Canada, March 16, 2015 (with video!)

The Siloe Reseach Institute has a fairly comprehensive history of flying cars

How Stuff Works take on Flying Cars

Where's my flying car? Science's promises broken Fox News, December 2, 2012

Where's My Flying Car? Forbes, July 6, 2010

IBM Flying Cars commercial from 2000, with Avery Brooks (Captain Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

The Ford Flivver: Henry Ford's Attempt to Make Us All Pilots

This process of predicting the future is fraught with problems. For example, In December 1900, John Elfreth Watkins, Jr., a curator at the transport section of the Smithsonian Institution, contributed an article to the Ladies' Home Journal, entitled “What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years ”:


“These prophecies will seem strange, almost impossible. Yet, they have come from the most learned and conservative minds in America. To the wisest and most careful men in our greatest institutions of science and learning I have gone, asking each in his turn to forecast for me what, in his opinion, will have been wrought in his own field of investigation before the dawn of 2001 - a century from now.”

click here to view Watkins’ whole article. Click here for just the text of Watkins’ article.

Some of his predictions:

“The American will be taller by from one to two inches. He will live fifty years instead of thirty-five as at present.”

“Automobiles will be cheaper than horses are today.”

“There will be No C, X or Q in our every-day alphabet.”

“Pneumatic tubes, instead of store wagons, will deliver packages and bundles.”

Let us all take a moment in rembrance of the Zeppo Tube, an invention so powerful that it could only be used for good or evil.

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