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Items: Flying cars

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As Avery "Sisko" Brooks put it in a very entertaining IBM commercial a few years back:

"It is the year 2000, but where are the flying cars? I was promised flying cars. I don't see any flying cars. Why? Why? Why?"

Ah, the perennial dream of flying cars:

  • Ken Wernicke's Aircar seems to no longer be under development.
  • The Moller Skycar has been on the way for some time now.
  • And now, welcome the AirScooter, which looks to me like a life-size Lego-and-Nerf rendition of an Imperial speeder bike.
  • The CarterCopter is more like a personal helicopter than a car, but it sure is fast.
  • CBS article about flying cars, complete with video.

Sadly, the Avery Brooks commercial appears to be no longer freely available at adcritic.com; they're a subscription site now. Oh, well. If you didn't see the original ad, you can read Slate's description of the ad, or you can read Daniel Keys Moran's related commentary (and the audio clip on that page starts with the audio of the Avery Brooks line from the commercial).

5 Comments

I'm beginning to suspect that the Moller Skycar is a hoax perpetrated by the staff of Popular Mechanics to use for filler (and cover illustrations) when they run out of material.


I don't know why this is, but y'know, while when I was ten or eleven years old I'd have agreed with everything Moran (or is that Keys Moran, au style espagnol?) says, these days that line of complaint drives me straight up the wall.


Although my own yearning for an aircar is unabated, I must admit that after ten years of living in Boston I am rather glad that they are not generally available. Even MedicalWorld would have difficulty dealing with the results of midair collisions, not to mention the bits of pipe and bumper falling off the airtaxis, landing on the sidewalk and incoveniencing the passers-by.
On the other hand, even when the parking on Newbury was three-deep it wouldn't keep the pedestrians from walking down the middle of the road. They would have to invest in some sort of pedicopter (or Flying Segway) to cross in front of traffic, though.
And then there's the Green Line; would it go faster if it were airborne? Instead of pushing the dim freshfolk onto the tracks, would the RoboSilber 2050 push them out of the B-Line from sixty feet in the air?
And who would work the toll booths on the SkyPike?
Thanks,
-V.


Note to David:

I have actually seen and touched a protoype Moller Skycar (at a gizmo convention in LA maybe six or seven years ago). Dr. Moller is an archetypal engineering visionary, on a quixotic mission tilting at VTOL's instead of windmills.

Moller's HQ is in Davis, CA and I was an undergraduate at UC Davis from 1988-1992...I think I remember a big feature on Moller in the student paper, with the strong suggestion that we'd all be driving these skycars by the turn of the century...now I'm hoping that it will be before I retire.


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