Looking from the balcony of his 83rd story penthouse, the young executive scans the sky ahead, the keys to his new Porsche itching in his hand. Stepping into his garage he opens the driver's door, sits inside, flicks on the ignition and listens as the four turbofans blast into life. Disengaging the skybrake, his Porsche hovers effortlessly, mere inches above the ground, before he floors the gas pedal and launches powerfully into the crimson sky.
The science fiction future, as imagined by children growing up between the 1950s and 1980s is already here: we have the flat panel televisions mounted on the wall like canvases, we have the Dick Tracy personal communication devices (and we've managed to cram jukeboxes inside them -- we call them iPhones) but we're missing something. Popular Science, the magazine that has fed our technological fantasies for generations, put it best when it asked, in March 2006: "Where's My Flying Car?".
While it's still not possible to walk into your local Chevy dealer and fly out with a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) Camaro that drives through all three dimensions, there are engineers across the world dedicating their lives to making the dream possible. But a Jetsons-style flying car that can be piloted as easily as a family sedan still seems a long way off. Read full article »