Review: Flying Cars

Patrick J. Gyger

Haynes Publishing, out now

A history of the flying car in fact and fiction…

Although its roots as a French-language publication become obvious in places (notably in its choice of pictorial material, with European versions of American magazines used to illustrate many of the fictional elements), this is a fascinating account of the multiple attempts that there have been over the past century to create a flying car. Those who believe that such things firmly belong in the realms of Harry Potter or 007 will be amazed to find the number of different prototypes that were developed over the years, each running into problems of their own.

Gyger and his collaborator Francis Valery have compiled key facts and figures about the varying designs, and present them in a way that is accessible to the layman, even if occasionally the prose does become a little melodramatic. They acclaim one inventor, Theodore P. Hall, and note that he should be allowed “his rightful place of honour in the tormented history of this field of activity.”

Anyone wanting to follow in these inventors’ footsteps will find copious illustrations with breakdowns of the various elements, alongside pictures from films and magazine covers depicting the myriad different possibilities.

Verdict: An eye-opening journey into a branch of transport that should be better known.  8/10

Click here to order Flying Cars: The Extraordinary History of Cars Designed for Tomorrow’s World from Amazon.co.uk

Paul Simpson

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