Sunday 18 March 2018

Could flying cars soon be a reality?

A patent by Chinese engineers reveals their plans to build a flying car; plus a new system that promises to reduce the amount of unpacking you need to do at airport security

This film image released by Columbia Pictures shows Kate Beckinsale in a scene from the action thriller "Total Recall." (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures - Sony, Michael Gibson)...I

Richard Gray, Science Correspondent Daily Telegraph

Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.

Flying cars have been on our wish list as a future form of transport for decades.

From the hovering Delorean in Back to the Future 2 to the rattling wrecks in Blade Runner, Total Recall and the Fifth Element – flying cars are just cool.

And let us be honest, who hasn’t sat stationary in a traffic jam on the motorway and wished they could come over all Jetsons and just glide away above it all?

Now, it seems, the Chinese might be about to give the world what it has been hoping for.

A patent lodged by engineers at the Southern China Aviation Industry Group reveals designs for exactly that technology.

Their approach uses two large “lifting” fans positioned at the back and front of the vehicle, with each rotating in opposite directions.

Two smaller fans sit side by side in the middle of the car to help control the car and keep it stable.

Plates that sit under the two main fans can be adjusted to help provide directional thrust when flying.

What is less clear from the patent is exactly how much space is left for passengers, but it appears to be an early design.

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