In a 1931 Detroit show, the Stout Metal Airplane Division of the Ford Motor Company revealed an aircraft marketed towards everyday motorists. It was named the Skycar, and aimed to create an easy handling car, with automobile-styled comfort. Examples of the basic design were produced between 1931 and 1944.
The following second incarnation of the Skycar, The Skycar II, was the first to use stainless steel, using stainless steel for its construction and twin tail booms. The car had 4 wheeled landing gear to facilitate a later rebuild to roadability which never occurred, and was built with the support of Fred Fisher of General Motors. Lastly, it was evaluated by the US airforce as a potential light transport aircraft, but unfortunately it was destroyed in a hanger fire in 1942.
The final version of the concept was the Skycar IV, also known as the Spratt-Stout Model 8. It had similar stainless steel twin tail booms to the Skycar II, but it was also fitted with twin fins and rudders. The vehicle had a wingspan of 36 feet and a length of 21 feet. Its projected range was also 300 miles, and had a ceiling of 13,400 feet. The fantastical Skycars were, however, never approved for production.
There are serval new flying cars in development at the moment, all employing different ways of getting the vehicle aloft. For example the X2 flying car by Chinese company XPeng, which uses drone technology. This allows the vehicle to take off vertically, and rotors that fold away so that the X2 can then be driven on the road.
Stainless Steel is an amazingly useful metal, as you can read on our Blog. You can read how it’s been used on everything from watches to planes, rockets to cars. And in a similar way we use Stainless Steel on products as diverse as Stainless Steel Kitchens to Stainless Steel Laboratory Sinks. Have a look at our Stainless Steel product page for more info.