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Flying Prius Coming? : News

Toyota has had a patent published which appears to show a wing system for a potential flying version of its popular Prius hybrid.

Looking like something more akin to a 19th century quadruplane, the patent has some novel ideas, with the wings using a rotating cam-like linkage to unfold the wings and stow them for driving.

For regular use, the wings stay folded flat against the roof, but can then be deployed in varying amounts, presumably to increase or decrease lift generated to make the car fly.

The patent abstract states: “Typically, a body of a land vehicle is relatively short to facilitate parking and road manoeuvrability, whereas a body of an aircraft is relatively long to facilitate flight stability and control authority.

“In one conventional roadable aircraft, each wing folds upward at a root and downward in a mid-span location to stow against the fuselage in land mode.”

Although Toyota notes that a conventional design is generally effective, it increases both weight and complexity and makes the vehicle much harder to use on the road as a conventional car.

The stacked wing design of its latest patent, it claims, can generate lift similar to a regular aeroplane wing, but makes it much easier to use on the road and to park in regular spaces and garages.

Although the exact dimensions of the wings haven’t been revealed, the patent appears to suggest that the wingspan is no wider than the car’s body itself, while propulsion details are similarly vague.

Will we be seeing a flying Prius on the road and in the skies anytime soon? It seems unlikely, but then there was a time when patents for motorised horseless carriages seemed unlikely too…

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Sources : Prius Photo | Prius Article


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