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Roadable Aircraft

The roadable aircraft - a vehicle which could be parked at home, driven on the road, and then flown from a convenient airfield - has an air of 1950s idealism based on watching too many science fiction films.

Indeed, an aircraft (or helicopter) in every garage was a common theme of futurist fantasies of that period (and even earlier). The fantasy stayed alive into the 1960s, when a genuine example was depicted in a James Bond movie ("The Man with the Golden Gun"). Then the dream seemed to fade.

It has returned. A web search using the terms "Moller", "flying" and "car" should bring up several references to a sleek, futuristic design with attached turbine pods and nostalgic science fiction lines.

The concept is a little older than the 'fifties. In World War Two, the Rotabuggy, an air droppable Jeep was tested, and in Russia, a glider tank. Neither were strictly "convertiplanes" - they were more like examples of falling with flair.

The author shudders at the image of a major traffic jam ('gridlock', I think they are called in the USA), with cars banked for miles. Then, here and there, they begin to take off - and become a problem for air traffic controllers...


ANTONOV KT - A Russian attempt in World War 2 to deliver an air-towed light tank fitted with biplane glider wings.


HAFNER ROTABUGGY - A towed flying Jeep, known as the Rotabuggy, kept aloft by an autogyro-type rotor was intended to lead to the ability to deliver air-towed tanks.


CONSOLIDATED VULTEE MODEL 111 - A 1945 American two-seat roadable aircraft which interested Consolidated Vultee for a number of years, but in the event did not succeed in putting an 'aircraft in every garage'.


AEROCAR AEROCAR - After World War 2 M.B.Taylor established a company to realise his dream of an aircraft which could become roadable as a family car. His products were to achieve FAA certification and enter production.


WAGNER AEROCAR - The futuristic-looking Wagner Aerocar of 1965 broke from the pattern of fixed-wing roadable convertiplanes and adopted a helicopter configuration.


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