Have you ever watched science fiction movies, where the future featured flying vehicles where everyone seemed to be able to keep to the right of way without any accident happening? That is a true miracle, especially when you take into consideration how on our normal roads alone, one would be able to find at least an impatient driver who weaves in and out of traffic, wedging his or her car into whatever space possible without bothering to wait in line like the rest of us. Well, imagine translating that kind of attitude to a flying car – disaster awaits. Still, I am quite sure that many people do look forward to the day when there is a flying car, and perhaps the conceptual hybrid which is the ESTOLAS aircraft that is currently being developed by the European Commission could be the first step in such a direction.
ESTOLAS happens to be an acronym for Extremely Short Take Off and Landing On any Surface, ensuring that the name of this ride itself is pretty much self explanatory. It will merge the traditional elements of an airplane, a hovercraft, a helicopter and some might even point out, that of a blimp. Imagine the ESTOLAS being able to land on just about any flat surface, including water and snow. The military would definitely be more than interested in such a project.
Filed in newscientist.. Source: