Ignition, Gear and Lift-off!

The idea for a flying car has now moved a step closer to reality from fantasy. The world’s biggest automaker Toyota recently filed a patent application revealing a flying vehicle resembling a hover car or a roadable aircraft. The USPTO has published the patent application disclosed in application no. 14/194,795 on September 3rd, 2015. The patent discloses a vehicle that can be both, flown as a fixed wing aircraft and driven as a land vehicle.

The invention titled “stackable wing for an aerocar” discloses dynamic wings which can be collapsed into a body of a car in a roadable mode and can be extended in the flight mode. The patent application reveals the rotating wings being stacked in a row of four and each can be deployed individually. The wings hidden in the roof can be deployed at the touch of a button. When deployed, one wing rises from the roof and rotates into position, a second can then be deployed, followed by a third and fourth. The lower surface of the wing is adaptable between a stowed shape and a deployed shape. The stowed shape helps in stacking the wing at the top of the flying car in combination with additional wings in a roadable mode. The deployed shape helps in providing lift to the flying car in an airplane mode. The stackable wing system selectively extends and retracts with respect to the body and provides a variable amount of lift for specific flight operations such as takeoff, landing, and cruise operations. The patent also discloses a power system that operates to selectively power the drive wheel in the roadable mode as well as the propulsion system in the flight mode. The application however has not provided the information on how the flying car would tend to achieve the lift off.

The application suggests that the car would be compact, low profile, and have a stylish body design. The stackable wing system facilitates parking of the flying car within typical home garages, parking spots, etc. The stackable configuration of the wing allows the driver to drive the car easily since the wings do not create blind spots. Moreover, the stackable wing disclosed in the patent application does not limit the operator’s aft and side views in the drive mode.

This car if released soon will be the cynosure of all eyes, easily rivaling the likes Lamborghini, Masserati, to name a few.  We need to wait and watch if the Japanese automaker plans to use this design on a coming production car or concept car.

Authored by Blessen Koshy

Contributed by Mechanical and Automotive Patent Division of BananaIP in India
For further information on  Mechanical and Automotive Patent law in India, write to [email protected]
Sources: 1, 2