DrMyers’s Blog

July 22, 2010

Flying Cars are HERE!! Terrafugia is leading the way…with spinners!

I remember growing up and watching cartoons in the mornings, and my whole family knew I liked 3 cartoons in particular!  The first was “The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show” with the character “Foghorn-Leghorn” as my favorite character (he ran a close second to Yosimite Sam!).  Second was “The Flinstones”…and Fred Flinstone was the prime reason I experineced my first “Time-Out” in Kindergarden.  But my ultimate favorite was “The Jetsons”!  Not only did I have a crush on Judy Jetson…but I just new that when I grew up…I would have a flying car and a boss that was short and mean (the latter has already happened!)

Today, my childhood dream is becoming a reality, and in 20 years the work Terrafugia is doing today will dominate the flyways all across the world.  Terrafugia, based in Massetustses, has developed a car that can also spread wings and fly in the air.  While you can’t buy one immediately…start saving your money now; because in 2011, around $200,000 could buy you a brand spanking new car that can either get you up down the highway, or the flyway! 

Founded by award-winning MIT-trained aeronautical engineers and MBA’s – who also happen to be passionate private pilots  in 2006; the company’s mission is to provide innovative solutions to the challenges facing personal aviation.

What many may not realize is that Terrafugia is not all “Techie” and no “Style”.  If you notice around second 19

 or 20 of the video, in their test flight 1146, as the car takes to the air…the rims start to do this funky move.  Now it takes a trained eye to understand what’s really happening here!  What you have is the FIRST COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE CAR…THAT CAN FLY…has SPINNERS!!!! 

What are spinners?  A spinner is a type of hubcapthat spins independently inside of a wheel itself when the vehicle is in motion, and continues to spin once the vehicle has come to a stop. Being an attachment to the car’s wheel, spinners operate by using one or more roller bearings to isolate the spinner from the wheel, allowing it to turn while the wheel is at rest. The spinner’s own momentum helps it overcome what little fricton iis transmitted through the bearing. When the car is in motion, the small amount of friction transmitted through the bearing sets the spinner in motion.

As we really move into the 21st century, and flying cars become a reality…who would have thought that spinners would play a role in our advancement!  Who knows…maybe they can throw in some “Hydraulics” and make it a package deal!

George Jetson ~ “We wouldn’t last on unemployment checks, a 1000 a week doesn’t stretch very far these days.”

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