The FLYING Automobile is Here (Jan, 1933)

The FLYING Automobile is Here

THE “flying auto,” a combination airplane and automobile which negotiates roads and air lanes with equal facility, has at last appeared in the aeronautical world.

Designed by two German engineers, the craft is a development of the autogyro. A great advantage, however, is that no propeller for the drive in the direction of flight is necessary. The little vertical fins on the gyro blades give the necessary force to drive the car forward in the air.

When the craft is to be made ready for a trip along the highways the gyro blades are folded back as illustrated in the artist’s drawing above. On the road the motor, which is located in the front as an accompanying photo shows, drives the wheels like a regular auto, the steering, however, being done by the rear wheel.

Streamlining principles are applied as in a plane, which makes for maximum speed.

The “flying auto” was exhibited at the Berlin airplane show. Some difficulty has been encountered in mounting the engine, so that it is not likely that the plane will soon come into popular use.

  1. Scott says: November 6, 200811:02 am


  2. g663 says: November 6, 200811:36 am

    This design can’t possibly work. If the rotor is powered, reaction torque will attempt to rotate the cabin in the opposite direction. A tail rotor of the type used in helicopters would be needed to stabilize the cabin against that force. At that point, the tail rotor could instead have been used for forward thrust in conjunction with an unpowered rotor of the type conventional for autogyros.

    Further, the rotor mounting is insufficiently braced. And further, the principle of using little winglets on the rotor for forward thrust is as far as I know unproven.

    As well, n 3-wheeled vehicles, two wheels in front and a steered rear wheel is a highly unstable configuration. It works for slow-speed vehicles with low centers of gravity, for example street sweepers, but it doesn’t work for automobiles since the transfer of inertial mass while attempting to turn, can cause the vehicle to roll. This is what caused the accident for Bucky Fuller’s Dymaxion car and ultimately killed it off.

    Last but not least. Germany, 1933. Hmm. Sounds like this was another of Hitler’s publicity stunts for German industry.

  3. Sven says: November 6, 20082:58 pm

    g663 – Regarding the reaction torque (toilet bowl effect), not necessarily, some models have an extra set of blades (Co-axial) which spins in the opposite direction to equalize the rotation.

    Sure, this model would spin crazy, what I am trying to say is that you don’t necessary need a tail rotor.

    Another interesting detail about this design is that I don’t see any way of turning while in air, and taking a look at the design, it seems the center of gravity of this model is far too much in front (because of the engine, mounted in front) meaning it would most likely always have forward thrust.

    Definitely smells like on of Hitlers publicity stunts.

  4. Eliyahu says: November 6, 20088:13 pm

    “Some difficulty has been encountered in mounting the engine…” Always a good excuse for dealing with a design which couldn’t work in the first place.

  5. Torgo says: November 6, 200810:06 pm

    Personally I would rather have a DC-3.

  6. Scott says: November 7, 200811:11 am

    In fairness, it does say it works like an autogyro. Autogyro blades spin freely (unpowered), and don’t need of a tail rotor or counter-rotating blade to keep them from spinning out of control. But I don’t understand how the little winglets would provide forward thrust, or how you would control its speed once in the air.

  7. K!P says: November 10, 20086:32 am

    it’s an auto gyro, from the pictures it looks like there could be a push propellor fitted on the back. Removed for road travel or something.

    (ok, the winglets do not make sens to me, just read that part)

  8. RBayard says: July 26, 20105:52 pm

    It’s not an auto-gyro. It says: “… no propeller for the drive in the direction of flight is necessary.” This is just a mock up and without engine because “some difficulty has been encountered in mounting the engine.”

    As usual in these magazines tend to fantasize quite a bit. In the first sentence they make you believe that this flying car is available for you to buy and fly but in the last sentence they bring you crashing back to earth.

  9. jayessell says: July 27, 20106:53 am

    Hitler took office Jan 30, 1933.

    I’m not sure you can pin this one on the Nazis.

    The D-11032 looks Photoshopped.
    [You know what I mean!!!]

  10. jayessell says: July 27, 20104:38 pm

    Also… the inset photo doesn’t show the rotor-tips.
    If there were ramjets at the ends of the rotors
    then no tail rotor would be required.
    (Recommended though for steering / yaw.)
    THAT would make a flying car!
    Remember the Mac IIcx comercial?

  11. Dirk says: November 10, 201111:20 pm

    Scroll down to bottom picture:


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