Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Flying Car at the End of the Double Rainbow

I'm just going to come right out with it: there will never be a flying car. Bookmark this page for reference when that next movie timeline with flying cars comes around (Back to the Future II, set in 2015, I'm looking at you).

"But, Skipper, there are already flying cars! lol"

I know. And stop using "lol" to simply end your sentences, like some kind of retarded Morse Code. Seriously, just ***  -  **-*  **-.

For instance, Moller came out with a Skycar several years ago (2007), which for some reason had pilots from the 70s:

Sweet whip, Mr. Furley!

There's also another, less retro (and, hence, less awesome) model that doesn't look quite like it's about to swoop down into Arkansas and start with the backwoods anal probin':

I take it back: this thing is pretty awesome.

They even have a vapid, company slogan in poem format:
"New Technology goes through three stages:
First it is ridiculed by those ignorant of its potential
Next, it is subverted by those threatened by its potential
Finally, it is considered self-evident."

Let me rephrase that:
"Ridiculous New Technology goes through three stages:
First it is ridiculed by those smart enough to see it's going nowhere
Next, it is subverted by lack of funding and investors
Finally, it is featured for twenty seconds on a James Bond film, and we go back to burger flipping."

You're welcome. I expect my consultant check in the mail.

Seriously, though, they have some cool concepts (check 'em out, including the 70s disco disc, here), but they're never going to get off the ground . . .

OK, that was cheesy. I meant, they're never going to fly.

Let's just say they'll never hold water (that one's only punny if you picture two-out-of-Three's-Company up there plunging to a cold, watery death in the Caspian Sea, you psycho).

Another flying car is this little gem:

Dubbed the Terrafugia Transition, it's just about as ugly as it's name.

Glad we can have a flying car that not only looks like a bobo airplane, but also a bobo car. Plus, it doesn't even have laser beams. A future with laser beam-less flying cars isn't one I want to be a part of.

This is actually the only flying car I'll roll in.

Even though there are far radder flying car concepts out there, they're still destined for failure (unless they run on protoculture, of course).

Half video game, half apocalypse, all radical.

Let me throw a little wet blanket on your Jetsons-fest tirade you were about to sling forth on me: it's a little snag called reality. The fact of the matter is, flying cars will never be put into common use because people can't responsibly pilot them. Think of your average commute: picture the handful of vehicles on the side of the road due to breakdowns. Think of the vehicle collisions that cause those nasty backups (and make you think, "man, I sure could use a flying car with some laser beams right about now"). Now picture those same, mundane occurrences happening at 500 ft AGL.

Good, but it needs to be hitting the house.

Better, but maybe with some eerie backlighting and smoke from the inevitable fire.

Now that's what I'm talking about!

The thing is, people will always ram into each other, fail to perform maintenance, drive drunk, and talk with their hands too much while driving. It's annoying enough (and, truth be told, deadly enough) at ground level; to let these folks take to the air in their thousand pound projectiles filled with flammable liquids practically begs for our society to get that one, last kick that sends us over the edge and back to growing our own food and riding horses.

You dis' my horse and I'll so build a barn on your face!

Don't believe me? I have proof! What if I told you that we've had a flying car available for decades? It can take off from a concrete slab out front of your house, land right at your office, and anyone who can afford one can have one. It runs on readily available fuel, and has proven to be both safe, comfortable, and reliable (when maintained, of course).

Still can't think of what it is?

I'll give you a hint: you freakin' know what it is! 


How mundanely exotic . . .

That's right, folks; we've had "flying cars" all around us for some time, and we're still not living in a futuristic dreamland filled with lightsabers and alien cage fights. The reason we don't all own flying cars is the same reason we don't all own helicopters: they're expensive and people would crash them all over your neighborhood (though it might enable you to use those sweet Missile Command skills you've been honing since 1981).

Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but the best we can hope for are hovercraft. Those have the coolness of repulsorlift technology, but without the pesky side effects of thousand pound balls of metal and jet fuel surging down on kindergartens. Come to think of it, when I put it that way, they're like a flying car that doesn't fly.

Never mind; now I'm not even looking forward to hovercraft. Reality is lame.

Though, this is probably what we'd do with hovering cars.

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