THE MIRACLE OF FLIGHT - IN YOUR DRIVEWAY!
Flight is one of the oldest dreams of humanity. When the automobile and the airplane debuted at the turn of the 20th century, inventive minds immediately sought to put them together, to have the miracle of flight available at arm’s reach at every minute. The Flying Car tantalized for decades, so easy to conceive, so hard to make work. This brief history of flying cars details the lure of the flying car as the public saw it, in newspapers, magazines, newsreels, and advertisements, only to slip away and become the symbol of the lost future that never wasnine parts hype, one part glory.
"Where's my flying car?" sums up our longing for the lost Future that those visionaries, tinkerers, and madmen mentioned in the header promised us. For years I've worked to find answers to the deeper questions: Where did that future come from? When did it start and why did it end? Who thought it a was a good idea? What brought about the tremendous optimism and faith in technology that sustained it?
Those questions deserve a good, long book. Flying Cars: The Miracle of Flight - In Your Driveway! is a teaser for that book, a chapter on the folly and phantom that was the Flying Car. You can find it and buy it by going to Amazon or clicking here on Flying Cars: The Miracle of Flight - In Your Driveway!
The book and this site were designed from the beginning to complement each other. Here I'll be focusing on imagery, expanding on subjects and people whose full stories can't be told without disrupting the narrative, and throwing in all the wonderful odds and ends that I've run across in thousands of hours of research. The book, starting with this chapter, will tell a series of stories about the elements that make up the periodical table of the Future: Flying Cars, of course, and the other tabs you see, Food Pills, and Rays, and Robots, and Rockets, and many more that I'll be adding to this site when the time is right. And on Science Fiction, the literature of that Future, that borrowed and mirrored and created notions, ideas, and marvels that continue to shape our visions of Things to Come. It all starts here.
IN YOUR DRIVEWAY!
Flying cars looked their best soaring through the air. Flight was the real dream they were selling. Airplanes already existed, though, as mostly exotic and expensive toys. In addition, a craft that had to be kept at an airport was hardly a useful item for home. To convince the public that a flying car could be an everyday necessity, it needed to fit into an ordinary suburban driveway, parked in front of the then standard one-car garage. Editors and their artists were happy to oblige.
Daniel Zuck and Stanley Whitaker
Mechanix Illustrated, October 1946
Popular Mechanics, February 1951
Hobby, August 1956
undated, probably c. 1958