Engineering Science Fair Project
What are flying cars?

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Project Information
Title: What are flying cars?
Subject: Engineering
Grade level: Middle School - Grades 7-9
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Descriptive
Cost: Low
Awards: 2nd place, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair (2005)
Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair (VSF)
Year: 2005
Description: Main topics: history and future prototypes of flying cars.

A flying car or roadable aircraft is a vehicle which can both travel on the roads and in the air. It is both an aircraft and an automobile. All the working examples so far have required some manual or automated process of conversion between the two modes of operation.

A slightly different concept that is sometimes referred to as a "flying car", particularly in science fiction, is that of an aircraft that would be practical enough for every day travel, but would not necessarily be drivable on the roads.

In fiction a flying car is a car that can be flown in much the same manner as a car may be driven. In some cases a flying car can also be driven on roads.

Flying cars usually appear in science fiction, but some fantasy films, such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, employ the same motif. In most cases the exact mechanism for achieving flight is never revealed.

In addition, flying cars have become a running joke; the term "where is my flying car" is emblematic of the supposed failure of modern technology to match futuristic visions that were promoted in earlier decades.

In science fiction, the vision of a flying car is usually a practical aircraft that the average person can fly directly from any point to another (e.g. from home to work or to the supermarket) without the requirement for roads, runways or other specially-prepared operating areas, and they often start and land in a garage or on a parking lot. In addition, the science-fiction version of the flying car typically resembles a conventional car with no visible means of propulsion, rather than an aeroplane.

A flying car is subtly different from a hovercar which flies at an altitude of a few meters.

Personal Air Vehicle or PAV is a class of light general aviation aircraft which meet a specialized set of design and performance goals intended to make flying as commonplace as driving. NASA, in 2005, refined the definition of a PAV in the fifth Centennial Challenge initiative, which it funds in conjunction with the CAFE Foundation. PAVs are an emerging field of technology exploration.

The fundamental premise of this frontier technology is to make the capability of flight convenient for an individual with a reduction in the specialized skills required to operate an aircraft. The final goal being a practical “highway in the sky” scenario where an individual is able to fly from point to point with the ease of driving an automobile.

For More Information: Flying Cars

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License)

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