Automakers file patents for all sorts of ideas that might make it into a production car. Weird tech that has a slim chance of ever seeing the light of day still gets a patent because no one wants to risk having the next big thing in automotive technology whisked out from under their noses. This is why there’s a patent from Toyota for a car with wings on its roof.
The idea of a flying car isn’t completely far-fetched, but it is definitely not something any of us are going to be driving/piloting anytime soon. The one flying car out there is the Aeromobil and it’s still in the prototype stages. It’s an odd looking vehicle, but it’s reasonable with wings that fold tight along its body and then open on either side into something resembling traditional airplane wings.
The Toyota patent looks like something from one of those grainy, black and white videos showing the crazy contraptions people thought would fly. They didn’t fly. They crashed or never even managed to take off before they fell to bits in the middle of a field. Despite this inauspicious history, Toyota has taken its cue from these videos with a car that has multiple stacked wings sitting on its roof.
The crazy gets even better when the stack of roof wings deploys to varying heights. It can drive along the road with the wings flush to the roof to deal with all those pesky bridges and then deploy the wings in a giant tower when it’s ready to take flight. There’s also a tail fin that makes it look like it took a hint from the 1950s. Let’s mash-up all the vehicles, shall we?
We have so many questions. According to Jalopnik, the only diagrams show a side view, so it’s impossible to see how wide the wings are or what things look like from the front. There aren’t details on dimensions or what kind of engine they are planning for their flying car of the past either.
It looks ridiculous and it’s unlikely to ever go beyond this patent. We want to know who came up with this design. It’s hard not to imagine some steampunk Victorian engineer toiling away in the bowels of Toyota HQ, only to emerge with this potentially ground-breaking design.
Someone needs to get that guy some coffee and maybe fill him in on the last hundred years or so of technological innovation.