Hot on eBay: Flying Car!

One step closer to the dream?

As best we can tell, this pup's legit. It's a prototype from the Sky Commuter program that Boeing evidently sunk $6 million into back in the 1980s. The program was dismantled—presumably because the concept didn't, er, fly—and this is the only surviving piece of hardware. Of all the flying car concepts that we see here at PopSci—and believe me, we see a lot—this one appears to be one of the most viable designs.

It's lightweight, compact, and looks nicely balanced, with a single horizontal fan out front and two aft. The seller offers no explanation as to why the program failed, but most likely it had to do with technological limitations in both power and control, the two essentials of vertical-takeoff and landing vehicles. The craft evidently conducted hover tests, but not much more. The seller implies that it might be flyable, but the buyer would be a fool to attempt it. The same limitations that existed then exist in that hardware now, so all you'd achieve is a low hover and the strong likelihood of a crash. All that aside, this thing's a beauty—elegant, seemingly very well-built, and rich in history. That canopy alone is a work of art. Check the pics to see the cartoonishly white-suited Air Force Thunderbird pilots checking it out. Let's hope it lands in a museum someplace...