Ever since I can remember — long before I even learned to fly — someone or other has been touting the flying car and/or the drivable airplane as the saving grace of general aviation. I say it ain’t gonna happen in my lifetime.
Who wants one of the dang things, anyway? Sounds to me like a great way to combine a poor car with a poor airplane. What would make anyone believe otherwise? It’s hard enough to make a good car or a good airplane by itself, much less combine them.
But the bigger question is, what’s the benefit? As I understand it, all of the ideas have involved an airplane that would convert to a car at the end of a flight and back to an airplane at the end of a drive. How long will it take to convert in each direction? I don’t know, but I do know that you’ll be folding wings, hiding propellers, and a bunch of other stuff that sounds right important to me. You reckon you could do that in a new suit — in winter and summer?
We don’t need all that. We already have a better deal — the rental car.
Hey, I’d bet a dollar (not for nothing do they call me the high roller of the South) that at most airports I can rent a car faster than you could convert that airplane into a car, and I‘m talking about renting a real car, not an airplane that can be forced to drive.
Price? Hey, let’s say you make fifty trips a year and rent a car for $100 each time. That comes to $5,000 per year. Now what part of an airplane can you own that cheaply?
So, I ask again—who’s gonna buy a flying car to replace a rental car? It’s gonna be a mighty small market.
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