Want to buy a flying car? You can. Today, and take it home with you, for the tidy sum of somewhere north of $2 million. The catch is that there is no catch. This particular flying car has been on the market for years with no takers.
If you thought the first flying car design was the well-publicized Terrafugia Transition under development since 2006, well, you’d be wrong. In fact, you’d be wrong by 57 years.
In 1949, a Longview, Washington, resident by the name of Moulton Taylor designed and built the first “roadable” flying car simply named the Aerocar. With only six of these built and only one still legal to fly and drive on U.S. Roads (Registration number N102D), the Aerocar has developed almost cult-like status in the rarified world of flying cars.
This flyable Aerocar was last on display at the Kissimmee Air Museum. Owned by Ed Sweeney and flown by his son Sean, this aircraft was previously owned by actor Bob Cummings. For those too young to remember, Bob Cummings was a TV actor who starred in his own comedy series aptly titled “The Bob Cummings Show” from 1955 to 1959. Cummings used this aircraft in his sitcom at the time.
However, the most notable of Aerocars is the 1956 model owned by Carl Felling and Marilyn Stine of Grand Junction, Colorado (Registration number N103D). Notable because it once flew Fidel Castro’s brother, Raul, in Cuba. And from 1961 to 1963, it provided the aerial platform for traffic watch duties on AM radio station KISN in Portland, Oregon. While this Aerocar is no longer flyable, it has been on and off the market for the past couple of years. With asking prices in the past years that ranged from $2.2M to $3.5M, the aircraft remains in storage without a buyer.
To say that Moulton Taylor was ahead of his time in the development of a flying car would be an understatement. However, after 73 years of others attempting to make a flying car a reality, true believers in the idea still find themselves dreaming of the day they could hop in a car, convert it to airplane mode and commute to the destination, or vice versa. Then again, if the Taylor Aerocar offers us any lessons from the past, it just might be that the dream of such modal mingling might forever remain a dream.