Retrofuturist Flashback: The Flying Sedan


Fly away! © Bettmann/CORBIS

As we spiral into another weekend, let's have another flying car design from yesteryear.

This flawed vision of the future dates back to the July 1957 edition of Popular Mechanics Magazine. The artist's conception for a personal private flying sedan shows a four-door, four-passenger Hiller Aerial Automobile rising from the lawn, lifted by its four-ducted fans. Sure, a cruising speed of 60 miles per hour isn't much by today's standards, but imagine getting to soar over all that Friday afternoon rush hour traffic, eh?

But alas, it was not meant to be.


About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.