Patents filed by Toyota indicate that the manufacturer is working on a flying car.
The Japanese car maker wants to build a car with transforming body panels and a rear-mounted propeller.
One of the problems faced by flying cars is finding a place to store the wings. The result is usually an awkward looking vehicle, with wings folded up on each side when it’s not flying.
Toyota’s answer to this is to have the propeller mounted on the rear, with the wings being stored inside the bodywork. A number of different options have been considered, including creating an opening for the wings to fold into, or for bodywork that would expand around them.
What each of the options has in common is that when the car is on the ground, the wings are hidden within the body before folding out when needed. This shape is more aerodynamic, and the tapered bodywork also feeds air to the propeller, improving flight characteristics.
The patents have just been released by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but were first submitted in 2014. Since then a number of other companies have made developments in the flying car field, including Terrafugia, which just received FAA certification for its own flying car.
So far, cars in the skies have remained the fantasy of science fiction fans, but it looks like we’re getting closer to such vehicles becoming reality.
After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.