The flying car community is aflutter with reports that Bangalore-based inventor A.K. Vishwanath has developed a little bit o’ Blade Runner based on the common Indian economy car the Maruti. The vehicle was shown off at a recent air show in Bangalore. News.com.au reported:
Unassumingly parked next to some of the world’s most lethal warplanes, a converted 800cc Maruti hatchback has stolen some of the thunder from the supersonic exhibits at the Aero India 2011 air show in the southern city of Bangalore.
The attraction? Rotating blades fitted on the four corners of the roof, and a vacuum section around the tyres which — its inventor insists — gives the car a vertical lift-off capability, allowing it to soar over any traffic jam.
That’s right! Vishwanath has not yet flown the thing. That hasn’t stopped certain off-kilter bloggers from speculating that:
This flying Maruti may be able to help solve the issue of traffic gridlock, which many cities have found to be a growing problem. The vehicle is fitted with rotor blades on the roof and extended wheelarches that create a vacuum section.
Put the cart before the horse, much, CarRentals.co.uk? Yeah, I bet you did.
News.com.au also said “[Vishwanath] is extremely tight-lipped about its exact inner workings.” The sum total of the technical details in that article (or anywhere else I could find):
An electrical generator kickstarts the device, after which its original engine pumps out “energy flows” which, he says, will provide the lift-off and cruising capability.
“My invention is backed by complex mathematics and I have already tried a scaled-down version in a wind tunnel which I built myself,” he said.
Whoa, haven’t we had this conversation before? Personally, I’d like to see the car fly before I head on down to the lot and talk about financing but Bud Smalley and his sleazy step-father Larry. Vishwanath says he has more than 40 patents, but he’d still be in good Flying Car Company if he had lots of patents and still never got his vehicle to production. Witness the M400 from Moller International, from my neck of the woods in Davis, California, which declared bankruptcy in 2009. Moller’s designs were provocative and in many ways brilliant, but still never made it to Market.
But just to make sure no one thinks he’s a mad scientist or anything, Vishwanath has named his company B’Lorean — a contraction of “Bangalore” and “D’Lorean,” because the latter is the car from Back to the Future. Srsly.