Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Volante One

I'm pleased to report that the insurance company gave me fair value for the remains of my car. I was already resigned to receiving a pittance for it, so was pleasantly surprised to be offered within $100 of my own estimate. While I was wishing out loud that I could replace the smashed out-of-production model car with an identical non-smashed one, someone helpfully suggested that I look beyond it and consider what the old car lacked. I immediately admitted that it had really lousy cupholders, and then after a few seconds of thought realized, "and it couldn't fly." My face lit up.

I remember the big stack of Popular Science magazines in my grandparents' basement. In the 1950s, people believed that the pace of technological advancement fueled by the war and the its cessation would continue unabated, bringing us flying cars, videophones, space travel, monorails, and every other acoutrement of the cartoon future. We do have camera phones, and the Volante One is a flying car that may be available as a homebuild kit in the near future, as opposed to when we all live in geodesic domes. Money (I may get some extra, as the other driver was held "at fault") is a weak recompense for pain and suffering, but a flying car might leave me feeling no pain.

Okay, I'm not likely to really commute to work in a flying car, unless it comes with rear deflectors, but I wrote to inventor K.P. Rice, pointing out the close connection between silver jumpsuits and flying cars, and suggesting with a grin that he sell the jumpsuits on his website to bring in some revenue and to give future Volante One customers something to start with. He has leafed through the same 1950s magazines, and had a surprise for me.

I have always been a Pop Sci fan so your remarks really hit home. Will take the silver suits under advisement. When I was in the Navy experimental squadron VX5 I tested a a silver flight suit as protection from the heat from your own nuclear bomb, post delivery. I used it as a fire suit for my crewman when first testing the Volante at El Mirage.

So there you have it, the first flight of the modern flying car was made by a person wearing a silver suit. Now all I need is a little bubble helmet. Oh, and a new car.

3 comments:

Greybeard said...

I'm sure the settlement is a worry that is good to have behind you, but the car is unimportant.

What is important:
How are you feeling now?
Any discomfort in that back?
You commented that you had involuntarily been permanently "shortened".
What are your long-term health worries?
Arthritis?
Other back problems?
Long term flight physical impacts?

I've been watching progress on the "Moller Skycar" for years.
I love the idea of having an inexpensive flying car in the garage, but most of the ideas scare me from an airworthiness point of view.
You too?

You are no doubt aware of Molt Taylor's "Skycar".......not good as car or airplane, but he got the job done and got it certified!

Lord Hutton said...

I cant imagine the highway police or local authorities being too amused if aircraft started sharing the highway with cars and trucks!

Anoynmous said...

Back in 1970, I saw a sign on the Alaska-Canada highway:

AIRCRAFT HAVE RIGHT OF WAY