Toyota may be looking to give its cars a lift.
The automaker, which has mastered down-to-earth products like the Camry and Rav4, has filed a patent application for a flying car.
Well, not specifically a flying car, but a unique, stackable wing system that could make one possible.
The application argues that most roadable aircraft designs rely on heavy, folding wings that compromise the width and visibility of the vehicle when it’s in driving mode. Instead, Toyota’s idea is to mount several narrow wings on the roof of a car that don’t protrude beyond the sides of its body and can be deployed as needed.
In the included example, a four-wing design is employed, with each featuring a solid top and a morphing bottom section that allows them to be more closely stacked when not in use. A simplified version of its operation suggests that all four wings would be used to generate enough lift for takeoff, while two could keep the vehicle aloft at cruising speed.
The sketch of the vehicle’s fuselage is intentionally vague and generic, and the description covers nearly any type of power source or driven wheel combination, while airborne propulsion could be provided by a variety of rear-mounted thrust propulsion systems.
When asked for comment on the application, Toyota would only say that “these patents represent the brainpower, innovation, diligence and passion of Toyota's Engineers and Researchers,” so don’t expect to see something like this landing at your local dealership anytime soon.
Then again, Honda recently got into the executive jet business, so the sky is still the limit. Even for car companies.