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A flying car from 1959 | Curtiss-Wright

The trend (or rather craze) of experimenting with flying cars did not just emerge in the past few years. In the 1960s, Curtiss-Wright corporation excelling in air travel started to develop a special vehicle in collaboration with the US Army, as after World War II, they thought the amphibious vehicle could be of use in everyday life, too. Meet the Curtiss-Wright Model 2500 Air Car, looking exactly like a floating tin can.

The car suitable to float both above the road and water was built of welded steel tubing covered by molded sheet metal, and was powered by two 180hp Lycoming aircraft engines. Even though they attempted to make the interior of the vehicle as car-like as possible with the regular steering wheel and control panel, driving it was more like steering a ship. With a maximum speed of 60 km/h, the vehicle was considered quick on water.

Even though it was able to carry up to 450 kilograms and had a very useful cargo compartment, it was extremely hard to maneuver with, and it was not capable of all-terrain operation either. After a few months of testing, the US Army finally shut down its development in 1961. 

Luckily, both prototypes have survived. One is in the US Army Transportation Museum at Fort Eustis, Virginia, while the other is in New Jersey – its owners purchased it at the end of 2015, in quite bad shape.

Source: designyoutrust

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