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Always Look Both Ways .... and UP !
May 10, 2013 4:01 PM   Subscribe

What may well be the first flying car crash happenned today in British Columbia. A Maverick flying car crashed today for unknown reasons. No one was killed in the collision even though the car crashed, while in flight mode, just short of an elementary school. Jalopnick has a picture of the treed vehicle. The Maverick is powered in flight by a propeller and parasail combination. Watch the Skies!
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena (28 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
while in flight mode, just short elementary school.

This one, perhaps?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:04 PM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I keep telling you, even cursory examination of traffic shows that we cannot successfully drive in two dimensions, much less three....
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:06 PM on May 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


Not the first.
posted by darksasami at 4:12 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the only way flying cars ever have a chance is after we've already transitioned to self-driving cars. I can't imagine how anybody ever thought flying cars with human pilots could happen.
posted by glhaynes at 4:17 PM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I saw that thing fly last time I was in veron. It sounded like a weedwacker, lawnmower and a hornets nest were having an orgy amplified through Disaster Area's speaker system.
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 4:19 PM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Isn't it safe to assume that flying cars have been crashing ever since people started working on flying cars? Of course, we'll really know that flying cars have arrived when two of them crash into each other.
posted by Strange Interlude at 4:21 PM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


You guys ever been in a Costco parking lot on a Sunday afternoon? Now, imagine that scene played out with traffic arriving from above as well as from on the ground. That's why we can't have flying cars.
posted by mosk at 4:32 PM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hmmm...yeah, fairly safe. Looks like the first flying car attempt (the Curtiss Autoplane) was 1917, and the first crash (Henry Ford's Sky Flivver) was 1928.
posted by darksasami at 4:32 PM on May 10, 2013


Here's a 1956 Safety First Flying Car cartoon that predates The Jetsons, done in the Jetson style, but produced by the AMA.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 4:35 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am generally in favor of futuristic stuff, but I think I'll only get in a self-driving flying car after they've invented inertial dampeners for it.
posted by feloniousmonk at 4:37 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Isn't it safe to assume that flying cars have been crashing ever since people started working on flying cars?

There's basically only three outcomes for a prototype:

1) It stays on the ground.
2) It crashes
3) Success!
posted by aubilenon at 4:37 PM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


"flying car" pushes the definition of both "flying" and "car". It's an ultralight with a... parachute instead of a wing? Is there a technical term for this thing? Even ultralights usually have fixed wings. Anyway, it's an ultralight with motorized wheels. The web page says "Public Road Licensable" but with those uncovered wheels I'm surprised.
posted by GuyZero at 4:40 PM on May 10, 2013


Is there a technical term for this thing?

Paramotor or powered parachute. Semi-interchangeable, but usually if it has wheels it's a powered parachute, while paramotors are in backpacks.
posted by indyz at 4:51 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


"No one was on the ground at the time of the accident."

Yes, we were all madly flapping our arms, hovering in the sky.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 5:00 PM on May 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yes, we were all madly flapping our arms, hovering in the sky.
posted by Ron Thanagar


Epon-hawk-sterical.

(And why were you using your arms when you already have the Nth metal?)
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:05 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Uhh... this thing is designed to get missionaries into the outback, and sponsored by "God-following Indigenous People."

If flying cars come from xians, I dread to think who will create the jetpack.
posted by Dreidl at 5:17 PM on May 10, 2013


Yeah.. the only way that flying cars would EVER lead to anything but mass fatalities every single day is if the totality of all roads were rigidly controlled by a Big Giant Head. With every single aspect of vehicle operation being automated, with no free will to as little as make a lane change. Every trip no matter how small becomes a Sisyphus nightmare of an eternal motorway choked so badly with exhaust fumes that even rolling down your window would be fatal. Not that you could roll down your window anyways, since that is also under the control of the Big Giant Head.

"But mediocre!", you say, "The people would never put up with that."

Fool, you think the Big Giant Head didn't think of humanities insolence? The Big Giant Head keeps everyone placated with religion, everyone under the delusion that they are a part of one big happy family forever riding the motorway (despite never actually seeing anyone else) until the day you die.
posted by mediocre at 5:43 PM on May 10, 2013


The picture doesn't show a treed vehicle, it shows the car/plane on the ground with the parasail in the branches. Color me disappointed.
posted by Grumpy old geek at 6:02 PM on May 10, 2013


What may well be the first flying car crash happenned today in British Columbia.

Naah -- I grew up in Ontario near the base of the Niagara Escarpment (which may be familiar to the rest of the world as "that cliff that Niagara Falls flows over"). The top of the escarpment has any number of roads which, when they reach the edge, perforce have to make a sudden turn right or left to descend on the road graded down the side of the incline. Straight roads to the edge of the escarpment + 300-foot drops + incautious/drunk people behind the wheel = flying car crashes being not uncommon. Without exaggeration, once every six months or so growing up I would see newspaper photos looking pretty much like this one*, or a shot of someone's car on its roof at the bottom of a swimming pool or something.

*Well, without the parasail.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:35 PM on May 10, 2013


I have actually witnessed a collision of two Piper Cubs, which was more or less the "Model T" of aircraft, as to close to a "flying car" as you could find.

It was horrific. At first, I thought that they must be radio-controlled models; surely, no full-size aircraft could pitch and yaw like that. The over-the-fuselage wings of one just tore off and fluttered away like a whirligig. I noted, being a math nerd, that the fuselage described a perfect parabolic arc as it dove into the ground.

I raced my bike to the impact site, my head filled with Boy's Life fantasies of rescuing the survivors from the burning wreckage. I was first on the scene! Hooray!

Well, except the wreckage wasn't burning. Or "spectacular" in anyway. By accident or design, the plane I found had impacted in a vacant lot. The fuselage was small and sad, like a discarded shipping crate. Everyone inside was dead, of course. (Although, not as broken up as you might think. I remember being surprised at that.)

I had a moment, peeping inside, when I wondered, "how can I be a hero now?" But there was nothing, simply nothing, left to be done, except to look at these silent people, and wonder what had happened.

Happily, an off-duty cop showed up and angrily ordered me away. I went home, on my bike, and wondered what this all meant.

I stopped reading Boy's Life, at that point.

So, no. Unless humans become dramatically smarter, or (more likely) our machines become our friends, guides and caretakers, no flying cars.
posted by SPrintF at 6:49 PM on May 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


Not the first.
posted by darksasami at 4:12 PM on May 10
[+] [!]


There's a seriously funny Pinto joke in there somewhere. But I'll just say:


Couldn't have chosen a worse car than the Pinto -- recalled for randomly exploding due to a defective fuel system design.
posted by vitabellosi at 7:56 PM on May 10, 2013


Is there a technical term for this thing?

Fanman.
posted by 445supermag at 8:31 PM on May 10, 2013


Chitty chitty go bang bang.
posted by orange swan at 9:45 PM on May 10, 2013


Here's some local news on this.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:31 PM on May 10, 2013


Here's the James Bond parahawk chase using Parahawks, which employ a similar concept (the flying ones only have a snowmobile fairing, though, and the working snowmobile ones never fly).

I'm really pretty curious to see a technical comparison. I mean, they essentially faked them for the movie, but this thing takes off from a runway and actually achieves altitude.

I doubt it's any Tesla S on the highway though....
posted by dhartung at 10:59 PM on May 10, 2013


From what I know, pilot Ray Sebring designed the car to be used in 3rd world countries for missionaries.

Wow, those Acts of God really stick it in and break it off, don't they?
posted by ominous_paws at 11:20 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


...the Pinto -- recalled for randomly exploding due to a defective fuel system design.

The fuel system design was OK. The proximity of the fuel tank to a firing pin differential bolt head turned out to be problematic. The executive decision to save a couple of bucks per car at the expense of some lives is what really fuels the persistence of Pinto's fame.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:45 AM on May 11, 2013


I know that flying cars are totally impractical for all the reasons mentioned above, but sometimes when stuck in traffic I like to imagine how nice it would be to transform my car into a plane, take off, and fly over everyone else. Straight into something like this.
posted by TedW at 1:06 PM on May 11, 2013


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