• Question: is it possible for cars to fly

    Asked by dragon to Marcus, Alex on 26 Jun 2014.
    • Photo: Marcus Johns

      Marcus Johns answered on 26 Jun 2014:

      There are already cars that can fly! After the second world war a number of firms looked at creating flying cars by adding a propeller and wing on top of an existing car – see the following website for an example. This inspired the flying car in the James Bond film ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’. However, these conversions are very bulky and you can’t switch from one mode to another very easily – you need to go into a hanger and remove the wing to be able to drive the car!


      There are now companies that are trying to make true flying cars that can just switch between driving and flight modes without having to remove the wings or propeller. Check out the following websites:


    • Photo: Alex Lyness

      Alex Lyness answered on 27 Jun 2014:

      Hey dragon,

      As Marcus said, they’ve been trying for decades to get people to buy flying cars but I don’t think they will will ever take off! See what I did there? 🙂

      Back in the 1920/30’s once we’d understood how to fly everyone thought we’d have hover cars in the near future but things haven’t panned out that way. It is likely that 2-4 passenger flying cars will never really catch on for three reasons, safety (where would the fly 100ft above the ground, 5000ft?), regulations (how would we travel between countries?) and lack of efficiency (in fuel/batteries).

      What is way more realistic at the moment is the thought over driverless cars. Google has just made one, see here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27587558 That would be great because you just call one up, climb in and it takes you to work. None of the hassle of having to drive yourself and none of the danger from being up in the air!

      Also I think drone technology might overtake car technology (did you see that pun too?!) We might never get in a car, we could stand on a platform and a drone (controlled by a robot) picks us up and drops us off somewhere.

      For travelling loooooong distance journeys we may end up traveling in buses that can go via space that are more efficient to use than jumbo jets. Check out the Skylon programme that is being engineering in the UK here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27591432 and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skylon_(spacecraft) Travelling in a group at speeds up to 4000mph (woah!) might be a quicker more efficient way to travel than tooting along in a 2 seater car at 200mph!

      We’ll have to wait and see 🙂