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Taylor Aerocar III — what could have been :@

8 April 2015

Taylor Aerocar III — what could have been :@

Taylor Aerocar III — photo by Joseph May

Taylor Aerocar III in the Museum of Flight — photo by Joseph May

Moulton Taylor designed cars which could fly and his final design, the Taylor Aerocar III is displayed in the Museum of Flight. As you may expect his designs incorporated clever engineering features which, though vital, are discreet:

  • Front wheel drive (common today but unusual in the 1960s) since proper landings required the rear wheels to freely spin
  • The Y-tail since a conventional tail would hinder garage storage—a design Predator drones use today
  • The flight controls and driving controls mechanically engage and disengage with the mounting or dismounting of the wings and tail

 

Taylor Aerocar III — photo by Joseph May

Taylor Aerocar III from on high — photo by Joseph May

Never meant to perform as an over-the-road cars, Taylor’s designs were meant to take advantage of the plentiful airports which abounded after the cessation of World War II but not be at the mercy of ground transportation once there. What a beautiful idea and especially for those airports not graced with a mass transit subway station! Alas, the Aerocar was certified as an airplane but could not be certified as a car, that and lack of adequate production facilities fated Moulton’s design to one of history’s eddys—leaving us to ask, “What could have been?”

Taylor Aerocar III — photo by Joseph May

Taylor Aerocar III in profile — photo by Joseph May

More about the man and the car can be read in this Seattle Times article.

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