Are Flying Cars just Helicopters?

Image result for car with helicopter blades

Back to the Future predicted we’d have flying cars by 2015. Now, 4 years later than the promised date, we’ve only seen hints at such a technology. I’ve never been a fan of the flying car. It seems completely ridiculous to me. Especially since drivers in normal cars can barely get their act together. The last thing we need is to have some lady eating a cheeseburger with her mutt on her lap, criss-crossing across the sky in a flying tank. Talk about road-rage (technically it’d be sky-rage right?).

Yes, I know I’m pessimistic about it. I blame Neil deGrasse Tyson. I listened to a podcast with him some time ago (if you’re interested in the video clip, here you go). In that podcast he had described how the search for flying cars has already been solved: they’re called helicopters. He goes on to describe how 3-dimensional travel has already been achieved as well: they’re called bridges and tunnels. Let’s insert Elon Musk’s tunnel plan below.

So, assuming tunnels become the newest way to travel (which quite honestly is a brilliant idea), are we still going to pursue flying cars – I mean, helicopters – for the average person? I stumbled across this hilarious video last night. And yes, I know, there should be better technology than an old tin can with blades on top in a few years. But if you don’t find this terrifying, you should reevaluate some stuff. Let’s hope videos like this make the public reassess the fascination that was instilled in us from the movie adventures of Marty McFly.

A Mile higher

Flying is such an immersive experience. If you’re a frequent flyer, you oftentimes aren’t aware of the whole process when you’re in the middle of it all. I find myself caught up in the anxiety of long lines, the stupid people arguing with flight attendants, and hurrying up just to wait some more.

But, if time isn’t necessarily a big concern for you during travels, let your mind wander to all of the cool things you come in contact with. The engineering of flight alone, is fascinating. You’re up in the air, miles above ground, eating your crappy complimentary pretzel snacks, completely aware of the fact that the tin tube you’re rocketing in, could fall out of the sky at any moment. And yet, we all willingly do it. Because it’s awesome.

I’ve been in every thing from propellor planes (completely terrifying might I add) to the new-ish luxury 737 from Boeing. And if you’re in one the newer planes, it’s much easier to think about the details we often overlook. Insert the seats.

Seating is extremely important to flying; you’re sitting down 99.9% of the time (unless your bladder is the size of a walnut). And yet, seats haven’t been upgraded all that much within the past few years. The silhouettes, materials, headrest and tray table positions, are just a few things that fliers can expect to be very constant. I came across a design firm called Layer the other day. They do some pretty cool stuff (and all very different too). But the one thing that really stood out to me, was their re-envisioned airplane seating.

I highly recommend checking out their project page here for all of the glorious details. This is one of the coolest re-designs I’ve seen in a while. If I was able to fly in something like this, I’d start taking trips just so I could experience it regularly. Talk about elevated (wow so punny). If design makes you excited about doing something more, that’s a success in my eyes.