A flying car prototype called the Sky Commuter will be sold by Barrett-Jackson auctions in Arizona next week.
Made by now-defunct Washington company Sky Innovations in the ’80s, the Sky Commuter was designed by Boeing engineers who reportedly spent $6 million developing the project. That’s over $11 million today, so it’s no wonder the firm ran out of cash before the work was done.
With three fans generating lift, the Sky Commuter is essentially a tricopter fed by a gas turbine. Whether on the ground or in the air, the exhaust gas is ejected out the back to provide forward thrust, allowing it to (hypothetically) act like the hummingbird that appears on the logo.
Sky Innovations claimed that the Sky Commuter made several successful test flights during development, but unfortunately they were never filmed, photographed, or witnessed outside the company. Theoretically, the vehicle could cruise at 85 mph over a range of 225 miles.
Seems legit. If you end up with the Sky Commuter in your garage, though, we don’t recommend testing it.
It’s an undeniably cool thing. Nerdy, impractical, and silly? Check, check, check. But it has true nostalgic appeal, and you’ll definitely be the only person on the block with one.
The cockpit is 32 flavors of retro, it looks like spacecraft from Battlestar Galactica, and it has vertical takeoff. Sort of.
With 60 or so investors reportedly involved, the company clearly planned to build more than the three prototypes that actually came to fruition. However, the one currently up for auction is the sole remaining example, so chances of ownership are rare.
For those dead set on a avionic commuting, Massachusetts firm Terrafugia claims its Transition aerocar will be flying (and driving) in the next three years. You might want to hold off on that second loan though, because that’s the thing about these types of companies.
They always aim high.
(Photos via Barrett-Jackson auctions)
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