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Researchers bring eight unrealized designs of flying cars from historic patents to life

Eight unrealized designs for flying cars have been brought to life by researchers in stunning computer images, in honor of humanity’s urge for heaven.

The concepts – ranging from a colossus suspended under two giant corkscrews to a car with fittings for attached wings intended to be rented from airports – were all patented between 1912 and 2006.

Although none of the designs have ever been launched, they have paved the way for people like Google, Uber and Airbus to develop real flying cars.

These companies may have been only a few years away from the launch of commercial ‘air taxi’ services, but the dream of flying through the air in flying cars dates back to the early days of driving.

In 1901, the same year that the Mercedes 35 HP – the first modern car – was designed in Germany, one Joel Trout Rice from Hot Springs, Arkansas, patented a rudimentary flying car.

He was hardly the first or the last to do this, with the wonderful flying machines of daring inventors such as Henry Snook, Bruce Beals and Einarsson Einar live on in historical patents.

To celebrate this rich tradition of innovation, car loan company LeaseFetcher has filed part of the patent applications and used computers to model them in three dimensions.

LeaseFetcher automotive researcher Alex Laing said: “This is our tribute to all car designers with their heads in the clouds – the crazy inventors who dared to add equipment for ‘up’.”

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Corks! Henry Snook’s “Flying Machine” (1912)

Eight designs for flying cars have been brought to life by researchers in stunning computer images honoring humanity's drive for heaven. On the photo, the flying car of Henry Snook

Eight designs for flying cars have been brought to life by researchers in stunning computer images honoring humanity’s drive for heaven. On the photo, the flying car of Henry Snook

Henry Snook, almost a motorhome or bus in the air than a flying car, devised an aggressive-looking vehicle that flew on two gigantic helical propellers whose shafts ran all the way to the inside of the cabin of the vessel. Pictured, the illustrations of Mr. Snook in his patent

Henry Snook, almost a motorhome or bus in the air than a flying car, devised an aggressive-looking vehicle that flew on two gigantic helical propellers whose shafts ran all the way to the inside of the cabin of the vessel. Pictured, the illustrations of Mr. Snook in his patent

Henry Snook, almost a motorhome or bus in the air than a flying car, devised an aggressive-looking vehicle that flew on two gigantic helical propellers whose shafts ran all the way to the inside of the cabin of the vessel. Pictured, the illustrations of Mr. Snook in his patent

Undoubtedly more a camper or bus in the air than a flying car, Henry Snook came up with an aggressive looking vehicle that flew on two gigantic helical propellers, the shafts of which ran to the inside of the cabin of the vessel.

“In the operation of my invention, the helical planes or propellers start in the vertical position starting from the ground and the car is lifted from the ground in a vertical plane without any progress,” he wrote.

“After reaching the appropriate height to release buildings or other structures, the movement of the axes in an axial direction will cause the planes to slope and to pull in the plane of the axis.”

Snook, who lives in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, apparently preferred the use of corkscrews in his designs in general – he also invented a device to harness the power of ocean waves with the help of a corkscrew rotor.

Among his other inventions was a new type of fire truck.

Rent-a-wing? Bruce Beals Junior’s car (1939)

“The owner of the car can drive to a flight service center, attach the flight unit to his car, take off and fly to another landing area where the flight unit can be detached and used on another vehicle with a similar design,” wrote Mr. Beals of his design

“The flight support and guidance unit is preferably designed to be interchangeable with similar units,” the younger Mr. Beals explained in his patent application of June 1939.

Unlike Snook’s flying machine, which is designed with a focus on air mobility rather than on the ground, the American inventor Bruce Beals Junior has created a vehicle designed primarily for land travel – and is based on a ordinary car.

Instead, for flying, the vehicle was designed to accommodate “air-supporting, propelling, and guiding surfaces through the air” – just as one could shoot at an roof rack – that would be rented out.

“The flight support and guidance unit is preferably designed to be interchangeable with similar units,” the younger Mr. Beals explained in his patent application of June 1939.

“The owner of the car can drive to a flight service center, attach the flight unit to his car, take off and fly to another landing area where the flight unit can be detached and used on another vehicle with a similar design.”

Disguise flyer! Einarsson Einar’s car (1959)

Longin-based designer Einarsson Einar imagined a convertible road vehicle from which fins and a double propeller system would emerge - like something from a transformer toy - before the car is transported into the clouds

Longin-based designer Einarsson Einar imagined a convertible road vehicle from which fins and a double propeller system would emerge - like something from a transformer toy - before the car is transported into the clouds

Longin-based designer Einarsson Einar imagined a convertible road vehicle from which fins and a double propeller system would emerge – like something from a transformer toy – before the car is transported into the clouds

With the front and rear propellers out of sight in the bonnet and trunk respectively, one wonders how much luggage the vehicle of the late 1950s would have offered if it had ever entered the showroom

With the front and rear propellers out of sight in the bonnet and trunk respectively, one wonders how much luggage the vehicle of the late 1950s would have offered if it had ever entered the showroom

With the front and rear propellers out of sight in the bonnet and trunk respectively, one wonders how much luggage the vehicle of the late 1950s would have offered if it had ever entered the showroom

A productive inventor, Einarsson Einar made plans for various vertical take-off and landing craft, self-adjusting belt studs and sunglasses with variable lenses that could be kept in the shade by sticking out like a baseball cap.

Similarly, the Long Island-based designer imagined a convertible road vehicle from which fins and a double propeller system would emerge – like something from a transformer toy – before the car was transported into the clouds.

With the front and rear propellers out of sight in the car’s hood and trunk, respectively, one wonders how much luggage the vehicle of the late 1950s would have offered if it had ever entered the showroom.

Jung-Do Kee’s flying car (1996)

Jung-Do Kee - who thought that flying cars were badly balanced and were inclined to make unwanted nose dives - came up with a car powered by a propeller attached to forward-facing wings at the rear of the vehicle

Jung-Do Kee - who thought that flying cars were badly balanced and were inclined to make unwanted nose dives - came up with a car powered by a propeller attached to forward-facing wings at the rear of the vehicle

Jung-Do Kee – who thought that flying cars were badly balanced and were inclined to make unwanted nose dives – came up with a car powered by a propeller attached to forward-facing wings at the rear of the vehicle

If the previous vehicles had a hint of the future about them, then the Jung-Do Kee offer has more in common with a Renault hatchback in the late 1970s

If the previous vehicles had a hint of the future about them, then the Jung-Do Kee offer has more in common with a Renault hatchback in the late 1970s

If the previous vehicles had a hint of the future about them, then the Jung-Do Kee offer has more in common with a Renault hatchback in the late 1970s

If the previous vehicles had a hint of the future about them, then Jung-Do Kee’s offer has more in common with a Renault hatchback in the late 1970s.

The Korean designer – who thought that flying cars were poorly balanced and were inclined to make unwanted noses – invented a car powered by a propeller attached to forward-facing wings at the rear of the vehicle.

To stabilize the car halfway through the flight, two smaller wings extend above the front wheel arches of the vehicle.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it is the ‘water-fluttering wing-flying’ car from Cheng Ji (2001)

Cheng Ji's flying car design takes a leaf from nature's book and is partly inspired by how birds and bats fly, linking giant winds and a propeller mounted at the rear

Cheng Ji's flying car design takes a leaf from nature's book and is partly inspired by how birds and bats fly, linking giant winds and a propeller mounted at the rear

Cheng Ji’s flying car design takes a leaf from nature’s book and is partly inspired by how birds and bats fly, linking giant winds and a propeller mounted at the rear

“The current car is one traffic facility for land, water and air use at the same time and has high efficiency and maneuverability,” Ji claimed

The design of the flying car from Cheng Ji takes a leaf from the book of nature and is partly inspired by how birds and bats fly, link giant winds and a propeller mounted at the rear.

“The current car is one traffic facility for land, water and air use at the same time and has high efficiency and maneuverability,” Ji wrote.

“His wings can be folded for country runs,” the Chinese inventor added.

VTOL car from Bradford Sorensen (2002)

Flying 'in a self-made wind', Bradford reached Sorensen's vertical take-off and landing vessel (VTOL) from California State University (top) lift with blades rotating in opposite directions that draw air through the vehicle in a series of wings (or 'sucked valves') the roof (below)

Flying 'in a self-made wind', Bradford reached Sorensen's vertical take-off and landing vessel (VTOL) from California State University (top) lift with blades rotating in opposite directions that draw air through the vehicle in a series of wings (or 'sucked valves') the roof (below)

Flying ‘in a self-made wind’, Bradford reached Sorensen’s vertical take-off and landing vessel (VTOL) from California State University (top) lift with blades rotating in opposite directions that draw air through the vehicle in a series of wings (or ‘sucked valves’) the roof (below)

“The full wing area needed to lift the flying car or aircraft can now fit within the limits of the length, width and height of a standard VTOL engine or a flying car with a highway,” wrote Mr. Sorensen. .

“The full wing area needed to lift the flying car or aircraft can now fit within the limits of the length, width and height of a standard VTOL engine or a flying car with a highway,” wrote Mr. Sorensen. .

Flying “in its own wind”, Bradford reached Sorensen’s vertical take-off and landing vessel (VTOL) of the California State University lift using counter-rotating blades that draw air through the vehicle into a series of wings (or “sucked valves”) ) in the roof.

“The full wing area needed to lift the flying car or aircraft can now fit within the limits of the length, width, and height of a standard VTOL engine or a flying car with a highway,” Sorensen wrote.

Sorenson has also invented a first aid device designed to remove bullets from wounds

Sorenson has also invented a first aid device designed to remove bullets from wounds

Sorenson has also invented a first aid device designed to remove bullets from wounds

“There is no need for folding wings, folding control surfaces, exposed rotors, wind gusts outside or other problems related to state of the art helicopters, flying cars or other VTOL aircraft.”

While driving his car, one can also enjoy one of Mr Sorensen’s other inventions – a pop-up food tray with built-in crumb catcher for a sandwich, drinking cup and frying pan related to eating drive-in fast food while work a vehicle. “

In contrast, one would rather avoid his other creations – including two types of expanding tunnel, one designed to safely remove bullets from gunshot wounds and the other to facilitate “simpler, faster birth.”

The flying car of Larry Long & Terry Sturgeon (2003)

Looking like a cross between a yellow taxi and a Star Wars landspeeder, the twin rotor-powered range of the Larry Long & Terry Sturgeon duo would have been supposedly “as agile and as agile as a small helicopter”

Despite its helicopter history, however, the vehicle would be driven with conventional foot pedals and steered like a normal car

Despite its helicopter history, however, the vehicle would be driven with conventional foot pedals and steered like a normal car

Despite its helicopter history, however, the vehicle would be driven with conventional foot pedals and steered like a normal car

Looking like a cross between a yellow taxi and a Star Wars landspeeder, the twin rotor-powered range of the Larry Long & Terry Sturgeon duo would have been supposedly “as agile and as agile as a small helicopter.”

Despite its helicopter history, however, the vehicle would be steered with conventional foot pedals and steered like a normal car.

The car, the Illinois-based couple added, “it will be attractive to the military and to others such as police, fire, rescue and civilian personnel.”

Akash Girendra Barot’s flying car (2016)

Inspired by quadcopters, this design by Akash Girendra Barot has four rotor blades mounted near the corners of the car for vertical lift and a thrust screw suspended on the chassis of the vehicle

Inspired by quadcopters, this design by Akash Girendra Barot has four rotor blades mounted near the corners of the car for vertical lift and a thrust screw suspended on the chassis of the vehicle

Inspired by quadcopters, this design by Akash Girendra Barot has four rotor blades mounted near the corners of the car for vertical lift and a thrust screw suspended on the chassis of the vehicle

The vertical lift engines allow a balance between the lift center and the center of gravity for both vertical and horizontal flight, while the propeller helps to steer the vehicle in the air, “he wrote in Akash Girendra Barot patent application.

Inspired by quadcopters, this design by Akash Girendra Barot has four rotor blades mounted near the corners of the car for vertical lift and a thrust screw suspended on the chassis of the vehicle.

The vertical lift rotors allow a balance between the lift center and the center of gravity for both vertical and horizontal flight, while the propeller helps to steer the vehicle in the air, “he wrote in his patent application.

“The passengers are safe in the vehicle because the rotors and the propeller are surrounded by a thick frame around them.”

By bringing the car to life in 3D, LeaseFetcher took advantage of the vehicle’s stylistic inspiration to select a suitable paint job.

“The influence of Jetsons can be seen – this time in the suitability of the vehicle for daily family use, from home to work or to the supermarket,” Laing wrote.

“We appropriately coated this ‘Corolla-in-the-sky’ in a pea shade from the 70s.”

WHAT TYPE OF FLYING TAXIS CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE IN THE FUTURE?

Progress in electric motors, battery technology and autonomous software has caused an explosion in the field of electric air taxis.

Larry Page, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has deposited millions in start-ups Zee Aero and Kitty Hawk, both aiming at creating fully electric flying cabins.

It is believed that Kitty Hawk is developing a flying car and has submitted more than a dozen different aircraft registrations to the Federal Aviation Administration or FAA.

Page, who founded Google together with Sergey Brin in 1998, has personally invested $ 100 million (£ 70 million) in the two companies that do not yet have to publicly recognize or demonstrate their technology.

Secret start-up Joby Aviation has come a step closer to realizing its flying taxi.

The California-based company, which is building a fully electric flying taxi that is able to depart vertically, has received $ 100 million (£ 70 million) in financing from a group of investors led by Toyota and Intel.

The money will be used to develop the company’s ‘megadrone’, which can reach speeds of 200 mph (321 km / h) powered by lithium-nickel-cobalt-manganese oxide batteries.

The Joby S2 prototype has 16 electric propellers, 12 of which are designed for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), which means that no runway is required.

AirSpaceX unveiled its newest prototype, Mobi-One, early 2018 at the North American international auto show. Like its closest rivals, the electric aircraft is designed to carry two to four passengers and is able to take off and land vertically

AirSpaceX unveiled its newest prototype, Mobi-One, early 2018 at the North American international auto show. Like its closest rivals, the electric aircraft is designed to carry two to four passengers and is able to take off and land vertically

AirSpaceX unveiled its newest prototype, Mobi-One, early 2018 at the North American international auto show. Like its closest rivals, the electric aircraft is designed to carry two to four passengers and is able to take off and land vertically

The plane leaves vertically, like a helicopter, before it folds 12 of its propellers so that it can glide like an airplane once it is in the air.

Airbus is also working hard on a similar idea, with the latest prototype from Project Vahana, the Alpha One brand, which successfully completed its first test flight in February 2018.

The self-controlled helicopter reached a height of 16 feet (five meters) before successfully returning to the ground. The test flight lasted 53 seconds in total.

Airbus previously shared a well-produced concept video and presented its vision for Project Vahana.

The images reveal a slender, self-flying aircraft that can accommodate one passenger under a canopy that is retracted in the same way as a helmet helmet visor.

Airbus Project Vahana prototype, the Alpha One brand, completed its first test flight in February 2018. The self-steered helicopter reached a height of five meters before it successfully returned to the ground. The test flight lasted 53 seconds in total

Airbus Project Vahana prototype, the Alpha One brand, completed its first test flight in February 2018. The self-steered helicopter reached a height of five meters before it successfully returned to the ground. The test flight lasted 53 seconds in total

Airbus Project Vahana prototype, the Alpha One brand, completed its first test flight in February 2018. The self-steered helicopter reached a height of five meters before it successfully returned to the ground. The test flight lasted 53 seconds in total

Just like Joby Aviation, Project Vahana is designed to be fully electric and take off and land vertically.

AirSpaceX is another company with ambitions to bring commuters to the airspace.

The Detroit-based start-up has promised to deploy 2500 aircraft in the 50 largest cities in the United States by 2026.

AirSpaceX unveiled its newest prototype, Mobi-One, at the North American international auto show in early 2018.

Like its closest rivals, the electric aircraft is designed to carry two to four passengers and can take off and land vertically.

AirSpaceX even has broadband connectivity for fast internet access, so you can check your Facebook news feed while you fly to work.

Apart from passenger and cargo services, AirSpaceX says that the vessel can also be used for medical and accident evacuation, as well as tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR).

Even Uber is working on making his driving service in the air.

Uber Elevate, Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, discussed the company’s plans at a technology conference in January 2018.

“I think it will happen in ten years,” he said.

In 1901, the same year that the Mercedes 35 HP - the first modern car - was designed in Germany, one Joel Trout Rice from Hot Springs, Arkansas, patented a photograph for a rudimentary flying car, pictured

In 1901, the same year that the Mercedes 35 HP - the first modern car - was designed in Germany, one Joel Trout Rice from Hot Springs, Arkansas, patented a photograph for a rudimentary flying car, pictured

In 1901, the same year that the Mercedes 35 HP – the first modern car – was designed in Germany, one Joel Trout Rice from Hot Springs, Arkansas, patented a photograph for a rudimentary flying car, pictured

.