19 July 2007

Personal Flying Machines

In one of the concluding scenes of The Boomer Sisters In The City (aka B3) , I wrote that one of the characters flew. I didn't have a particular mechanism in mind - I just wanted him to arrive at Rockefeller Plaza by air.

So, after writing that line, I did a little search on "personal flying machines," and came up with some really cool stuff. The "flying pulpit" in the picture above is the Williams Aerial Survey Platform (WASP), later named the X-Jet. It could fly 60 mph and reach altitudes of 10,000 feet. Holy cow, I can't begin to tell you how badly I want one.

The WASP was developed for the Army in the 70's, and for some reason the Army lost interest. With proper training, I don't see why a civilian version would be much more dangerous than a motorcycle (yeah, I know that's like saying it has less fat than potato chips, but still...)

Another fascinating vehicle is the airgeep, pictured above. It first flew in 1962. So for everyone who's waiting to get that flying car Popular Science promises us every year - we could have had one back in the 60's...

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