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This contest is fueled by the following news: During the summer, graduate students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are attempting to get an idea aloft that has attracted, engaged and intrigued people for decades - the flying car. A start up venture called Terrafugia is aiming to show off what it calls the Transition - a personal air vehicle. The vehicle resembles an SUV and has retractable wings. The Transition is designed for 100 to 500 mile airborn jumps. The vehicle can carry two people and luggage that distance on a single tank of premium unleaded gasoline. The vehicle also comes with an electric calculator, airbags, aerodynamic bumpers and a GPS navigation system. Flying cars technically are feasible, prototypes having been built in the 1950s and 1960s. However, thus far they have not been practical from an economic standpoint.
Flying car is a transport vehicle, combining features of an automobile and a flying machine. As of 2008, there are some tens of experimental type flying car models.
Flying car “Lark-4” from Russia:
* Flight range with pilot and three passengers– 1,510 km, with pilot and one passenger – 3,400 km;
* Speed range of flight – from 43 to 750 km/hr (record minimum speed and record maximum speed for such category of vehicles);
* Maximum rate of climb – 24 m/sec;
* Maximum flight altitude – approximately 12,000 m;
* Minimum take-off and landing speed – approximately 43 km/hr;
* Take-off and landing on compact soft surface area with length 27 – 30 m;
* Storage in standard 40 foot maritime container and take-off from it;
* Storage in regular automobile garage (7 х 2.3 х 2.3 m);
* Triple backup of engine. Flight on one or two backup engines ( in case of failure of cruise engine) with speeds of up to 250 & 180 km/hr;
* Diesel oil consumption – 10.9 kg per 100 km flight;
* Safety of pilot's actions with the help of onboard control computer. Transition to auto pilot and landing in critical situations;
* Auto pilot mode at minimum altitude and remote analysis of ground for selecting the landing platform (including in darkness);
* Movement in automobile mode on highway wheel drive from any of the 2 auxiliary engines and at a speed of up to 65 km/hr;
* Wingspan – 5.85 m;
* Length – 6.85 m;
* Height – 2.24 m;
* Weight of empty vehicle– 385 kg;
* Maximum take-off weight – 985 kg (exceeds weight of empty vehicle by 2.6 times);
* Engine - TVD-400 (Turbo-shaft engine with capacity of 560 hp);
* Noise level of engine, integrated in the design of airframe, conforms to noise level of mid-range truck;
In 1946, a distant relative of the steam-engine’s inventor Robert Fulton, popular for his trip around-the-world on a motorcycle and grown rich during World War II by manufacturing a gunnery device for anti-aircraft gunners, undertakes the mission of creating a “Flying amphibian” (Airphibian). He strongly believed that instead of adapting the automobile to fly in the skies, it is necessary to make the aircrafts adapted to roads.
The wings and section of the tail of the plane were detachable and a propeller was connected to the fuselage. The Airphibian had a six-cylinder engine with a capacity of 150 hp and the “Airphibian” could fly with a speed of 120 mph and run at mph.
About the conversion of the plane into an automobile and vice versa, Fulton said that even a “housewife can do it within five minutes”.
The Airphibian became the first-ever flying car, which obtained the certificate of Civil Aeronautics Administration — the predecessor of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).
However, despite the obvious success of the flying car, Fulton could not start mass production as it was very difficult for him to generate finances.
* Flying car from Russia “Lark-4” (private, 4-seater). Development of Public Design Bureau NAK. See site. See video film;
* Alexander Begak’s flying car “Evolution” (1-2 seater, with parachute wing, Russia. See site: Aerolab;
* Flying minibus “AIRVAN”, design of Peter Antipov (for 7 members), Russia;
* Flying bus “BSK-10” for 10 passengers, development by OKB NAK, Russia;
* 1 and 2 seater Skycar М200 and М400, USA, designer - Paul Moller.
* CityHawk, Israel;
* PALV, Holland, J.Becker;
* SkyRider X2R, USA;
* AMV-211, USA;
* Skyblazer, USA, Robin Haynes;
* Eagle, Israel, D.Metreveli;
* Chrysler VZ-6, USA;
* Roadable Aircraft International, USA;
* Transition, Terrafugia Inc, USA;
* Rotapower M200, USA;
* Aerocar, USA, Taylor;
* Aerojeep, USA, N.Jeranio
Flying cars in mass culture:
Cars that are capable of flying are one of the “common subjects” of fantastic novels and films.
* In the end of the French picture “Fantomas se dechaine”, the hero escapes in a car. the Citroën DS with retractable wings;
* The flying car De Lorean DMC-12, which is also a time machine, was shown in the film trilogy “Back to Future”;
* All city transport consists of flying cars in the film the “Fifth Element”, which takes place in the 22nd century;
* Both in the novel as well as in the film “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley arrive at Hogwarts School in a magic flying car, the “Ford Anglia”;