The idea of a flying car has been around since the first cars were rolling off the production line at the first automobile factories.
So far, every attempt to take a stab at creating a flying car has been met with failure. A fatal crash back when the concept was still popular had derailed further efforts into this science-fiction kind of invention.
Now, the Japanese-based Toyota Motor Company is taking a new shot at developing a flying car suitable for the production market. The drawings from the patent application filed March 2014 showed the car having a front shaped like an airplane nose with a tail on the end for a rudder. Multiple airfoils will be stacked atop each other.
A practical flying car would be able to function like an airplane yet still be able to be drive on a road surface and park in a garage rather than a hangar.
Toyota plans to have two modes available for the car: “roadable” mode and flight mode. With road mode, the wings are collapsed and brought against the top of the car; for flight, they can then be extended for flight.
Despite the evident blend of car and airplane, an official from Toyota has said that the plan does not entail a full-fledged flying car but rather a model that can act like a hovercraft and get off the road a bit to reduce friction and possibly increase fuel mileage. The airfoils themselves showed no indications of ailerons or elevators for roll and pitch control, though the possibility to include them is still there.
While this may be the best shot yet at getting personal airborne vehicles affordably, the whole design process is only beginning. There is a lot more to do and a lot more processes to execute before flying cars hit the road, but eventually they will. It is just a matter of time.