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Flights of fantasy historical Patents from 1912 of Flying Cars

Mark Gregory

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Flights of fantasy: Researchers bring eight unrealised flying car designs from historical patents to life in celebration of our drive for the skies

  • Ideas range from vans suspended from corkscrews to cars with rentable wings
  • All eight designs are recorded in historical patent filings, dating back to 1912
  • Designers for UK firm LeaseFinder rendered the flying cars in stunning images
  • Experts believe that real flying cars could become commonplace within years


Eight unrealised designs for flying cars have been brought to life by researchers in stunning computer images, in celebration of humanity's drive for the skies.

The concepts — which range from a behemoth suspended beneath two giant corkscrew propellers to a car with fittings for attachable wings intended to be rented out from airfields — were all patented between 1912 and 2006. 

While none of the designs ever made it into the air, they have helped pave the way for the likes of GoogleUber and Airbus to develop real-life flying cars.  

These companies are potentially now only years away from launching commercial 'air taxi' services, but the dream of whizzing around the skies in flying cars dates all the way back to the early days of motoring.

In 1901, the same year that the Mercedes 35 HP — the first modern automobile — was being designed in Germany, one Joel Trout Rice of Hot Springs, Arkansas filed a patent for a rudimentary flying car. 

He was hardly the first or the last to do so, with the magnificent flying machines of bold inventors such as Henry Snook, Bruce Beals and Einarsson Einar living on in historical patents.

To celebrate this rich tradition of innovation, car loan firm LeaseFetcher have taken some of the patent filings and used computers to model them in three dimensions.

LeaseFetcher automotive researcher Alex Laing said: 'This is our tribute to all the car designers with their heads in the clouds — the mad inventors who dared to add a gear for “up”.'







Edited by Mark Gregory (see edit history)
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I remember reading about these when I was a kid in the 1950's & 60's. But I was under the impression that a couple of prototype vehicles were actually produced, and actually flew? The downside was, as I understood it then, that these flying "cars" were really mostly airplanes, and not really practical on the street? 



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The most scary thing would be flying cars.  No thanks!  It would be bad news for air travel and people on the street as car parts rain down on them from collisions.  I’ll take my chances closer to the ground.

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