Before whoever decides to create a flying car, the first question of principle becomes the choice of its scheme. Both the performance characteristics of the “aircraft” and the safety of its use depend on this. There are at least three classic layout variants, having advantages and disadvantages.
The first version uses a conventional light vehicle to which a wing and a beam with tail plumage are attached at the top. The pushing propeller is positioned behind the wing and is driven by the vehicle engine through the gearbox. It is clear that the conversion of the car to the aircraft and back takes time, with the design having quite low flight characteristics.
The second type of layout is more progressive, its classic version many remember from the famous film “Fantomas Raged”. According to the plot of the film, the car (the filming used the Citroen DS) had retractable wings and a jet propulsion. Numerous attempts were made by enthusiasts to create a similar design, with a pushing air propeller usually used as the propulsion. Unfortunately, the Achilles heel of such design became the impossibility to place the wings of the desired area in the car body. The small wings gave a high specific load per unit of their area, which required a large take-off and landing speed of. The wedge-shaped shape of the hull, on the ground pressing the car to the track, in the air became a hindrance. All this created a lot of problems with the car’s handling and safety.
Quite progressive and promising is the third option, in which the lift of the apparatus was carried out not by the wing, but by the thrust of the rotary engines with air propellers of a small diameter. However, such a layout already has little to do with a conventional car, as there may be no wheels in the design at all. The apparatus with swivel propellers can start from place and land on the smallest site, the control is computerized and corrects piloting errors. The lack of design is very high fuel consumption.
What scheme to choose when building a flying car? Practice shows that the most attractive for amateur designers still remains the classic scheme of a flying car with retractable wings. However, for its implementation, it is not possible to take as a basis for any vehicle, it must be designed independently taking into account all requirements for the flying machine. In particular, composite materials should be widely used in its design, and instead of a traditional air propeller or jet engine, it is better to use airjets connected to vehicle engine compressor. This option will allow to apply controlled wing blowing, which will give the device high maneuverability and the ability to take off with very short mileage. An example of implementation of this principle of flight is developed in Russia by the EKIP apparatus.