I Used 2 Know

Podcast Episode #17: I Used 2 Know- Cars of the Future Would Fly

January 16, 2019


Time: 39mins


In this podcast episode we remember how, when we were growing up, we thought the future would be filled with flying cars.  We start off by remembering the flying car pioneers like Henry Ford before we take that turn into Hollywood and talk about flying cars in the movies.  We then end up talking about modern personal aviation and its future- flying taxis.  Come join us as we remember the thrill of imagining a world filled with flying cars!


Besides money- what futuristic devices did we think would be around when we grew up?

Computers… Video Games… holographic television, eating full meals by just swallowing a pill and flying cars like in the Jetsons!  


French Sailor Jean Marie Le Bris.  While Jean Marie was sailing around the cape of good hope he gathered an Albatross to understand the proportions of the body to the wings, the shape of the wings, etc.  Which led to 1856 and the launch of his glider called the Artificial Albatross.  It was strapped to a cart- with wheels- and had horses pull the cart and glider into the wind. It travels about 300 ft up… before it landed with minor damage.  

Henry Ford in 1926 lead a project to develop a personal aircraft called the “Sky Flivver”.  It was supposed to be as easy to mass produce like an Automobile but it was cancelled after two years when a test pilot died during a long distance flight attempt.  Henry Ford still thought a flying car was possible saying, "Mark my word: a combination airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come.”


In the 1950’s The US Army would try to develop a “Flying Jeep.” however it was determined it wasn’t going to be effective on a modern battlefield.

Soviet Antonov A-40- A gliding tank!  But it didn't fly.

Our favorite flying car in the movies:  Flying car from Star Wars- Attack of the Clones and the Flying DeLorean


  1. Spinner- Fantasy, Blade Runner
  2. Xplorair- Flyer- the Xplorair PX200
  3. SkyRider- Flyer- SkyRider X2R
  4. Korben Dallas Taxi- Fantasy, Korben Dallas is from the 5th Element, his flying taxi
  5. AMC Matador Coupe Air- Fantasy, AMC Matador Coupe with plane wings used in the James Bond Man with a Golden Gun
  6. Renault Lindbergh-  Fake
  7. Terrafugia Transition-  Flyer
  8. Waterman Arrowbile- Flyer from 1937
  9. SHIELD Porsche 904- Fantasy, Agents of SHIELD
  10. WD-CCBB- Fantasy, Walt Disney’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang


Three reasons why we can't have flying cars yet...

  1. When you mashup a plane and a car, you get a bad car that flies and a bad plane that drives.  You really need a new technology to make real flying cars- like the 5th Element.
  2. Laws that would have to change are monumental.
  3. Given the current technology- how would your neighbors like you "taking off" at 6am to go to work.

Scott: I just don't think we're ready yet.


Moving sidewalks were the "big future item" back when Steve's mom was growing up, and now we have them in airports- so maybe flying cars are possible.

Flying taxis may really be coming.. Personal aircraft like the Kittyhawk Cora (backed by Alphabet founder Larry Page) , The Volocopter, Lilium (which just secured $90 million in funding), Airbus’s Vahana, and Surefly Aero are real.  These are huge drones.  Uber Air is a real thing and they will be launching demo flights in 2020 in LA and Dallas and they are projecting that commercial flights will begin in 2023.


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