The roadable aircraft - a vehicle which could be parked at home,
driven on the road, and then flown from a convenient airfield - has an air of
1950s idealism based on watching too many science fiction films.
Indeed, an aircraft (or helicopter) in every garage was a common theme of futurist
fantasies of that period (and even earlier). The fantasy stayed alive into the
1960s, when a genuine example was depicted in a James Bond movie ("The Man
with the Golden Gun"). Then the dream seemed to fade.
It has returned. A web search using the terms "Moller", "flying"
and "car" should bring up several references to a sleek, futuristic
design with attached turbine pods and nostalgic science fiction lines.
The concept is a little older than the 'fifties. In World War Two, the Rotabuggy,
an air droppable Jeep was tested, and in Russia, a glider tank. Neither
were strictly "convertiplanes" - they were more like examples of falling
The author shudders at the image of a major traffic jam ('gridlock', I think they
are called in the USA), with cars banked for miles. Then, here and there, they
begin to take off - and become a problem for air traffic controllers...
ANTONOV KT - A Russian attempt in World War 2 to
deliver an air-towed light tank fitted with biplane glider wings.
HAFNER ROTABUGGY - A towed flying Jeep,
known as the Rotabuggy, kept aloft by an autogyro-type rotor was intended
to lead to the ability to deliver air-towed tanks.
CONSOLIDATED VULTEE MODEL 111 - A 1945 American two-seat
roadable aircraft which interested Consolidated Vultee for a number of years,
but in the event did not succeed in putting an 'aircraft in every garage'.
AEROCAR AEROCAR - After World War 2 M.B.Taylor
established a company to realise his dream of an aircraft which could become roadable
as a family car. His products were to achieve FAA certification and enter production.
WAGNER AEROCAR - The futuristic-looking Wagner
Aerocar of 1965 broke from the pattern of fixed-wing roadable convertiplanes
and adopted a helicopter configuration.