You can buy your very own Aerocar

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You may remember our story on the Taylor Aerocar we saw at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. Well a 1954 aero car has come up for sale with the price tag of  $1,250,000. For this tidy sum you get a FAA certified flying car to live out your dream of taking to the sky when traffic becomes a problem. This model is number 2 of only 6 that were built and has been previously on display at the Golden Wings Flying Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The aerocar is all original and is still airworthy, check out the link below to find out more or to pony up the cash for your own flying car.

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The DC8

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The DC8 was an aeroplane manufactured by Douglas from 1958 till 1972. It is often hard to identify the DC8 from its competitor the Boeing 707. The 707 is often regarded as the first commercially successful jet airliner selling 1010 planes compared to 556 of the DC8. In 1967 Douglas merged with McDonald to become McDonald Douglass with the DC8 ending production in 1972. Boeing’s 707 continued in production until the late 70’s and paved the way for Boeing to become the worlds largest aircraft manufacturer. While the DC8 is often forgotten about when you talk about the pioneers of the jet age it is interesting to note that around 200 remain in service mainly to cargo airlines, compared to just 80 707’s which is a decent percentage when you look at production numbers. Today not much is left of the McDonald Douglass company after merging with Boeing in 1997 with a derivative of the DC9 known as the 717 ceasing production in 2006.

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Deutsches Technikmuseum – Berlin

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The Deutsches Technikmuseum or Museum of Technology a enjoyable and educational journey with some amazing examples of German technology on show. Built in the former goods yard of Anhalter Guterbahnholf a railway yard the museum has huge pavilions of planes, trains, cars, boats a planetarium and even a brewery. The museum also features some interesting production areas where you can see actual craftsman make suitcases, rolled jewelry and printing. The museum is set over four sites all within a few minutes walk and only about 10 minutes walk from Potsdamer Plaz. The vintage car depot is a must for any car buffs, here you will see a collection of over 100 historic German cars, some very rare while others familiar. The railway yard has dozens of beautiful examples of railway stock all magnificently restored to their former glory while the aviation and space flight atrium has some very interesting military and civilian aircraft.

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Japan’s new jet

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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has just released details of a new regional passenger jet which they hope will enter service in 2013 and put Japan on the map for efficient state of the art passenger jets. The plane has already had 25 orders from All Nipon Airways totalling about 60000 million Yen and there is quiet a bit of interest world wide including reports of Vietnam Air and Emirates also very keen to sign up. With seating for between 70 and 90 people the plane is on Friday launched a project to build its first ever passenger jet, a next-generation regional airliner that aims to meet growing demand for fuel efficient planes. There are a few aircraft manufacturers around the world which are trying to get into this lucrative small jet market including Canada's Bombardier, Brazil's Embraer and Chinese and Russian manufacturers, but the Japanese with their track record of affordable, high quality and efficient products might just have the edge they need.

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LAPCAT A2, the Next Concorde?

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The LAPCAT A2 project is a European design project to come up with a next generation aircraft. LAPCAT stands for Long-Term Advanced Propulsion Concepts and Technologies, it’s aim is to design a aircraft traveling at Mach 5 that can get from Europe to Australia in 2 to 4 hours. Reaction Engines Limited is the team behind the A2 and they are really changing the way we think about aircraft design, The hypersonic aircraft long shape is twice as long as a 747 yet due heat issues will not contain any windows. A new type of engine running on liquid hydrogen known as the Scimitar Engine developed from Space launch technology would also need to be used. At 143m length the A2 could accommodate 300 passengers, the design brief is to make the costs of travel around the cost of a business class fare but don’t save up for your ticket just yet as this is just a design study and it could be more than twenty years that anything resembling the A2 makes it to the production lines if at all.

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The Taylor Aerocar

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The Taylor Aerocar is one of the most famous flying cars ever built. First designed by Moulton Taylor in 1949 it was a time when popular science magazine was predicting that everyone would own a flying car by the year 2000. Although six prototypes of the Aerocar car were built it never entered mass production but it did gain a bit of interest from Ford at the time making it one of the few aeroplane car combos to even come close to being produced. The idea behind the Aerocar was that once you reach the airport you could fold up the wings and drive it back to your own garage. Amazingly all six prototypes survive today with an Aerocar 1 on display at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Golden Wings Museum at Blane, Minnesota and at the Kissimmee Air Museum. Florida. An Aerocar 3 (pictured) is on display at Seattle's Museum of Flight. The Aerocar located in Florida is flying today was once owned by actor Bob Cummings and was used in his 1960s TV program. Taylor went on to design an amphibious aircraft in 1969 known as the Coot that still is being constructed by home builders across the world.

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MOTAT Museum of Transport & Technology

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MOTAT is the largest transport and technology museum in New Zealand with over 40 acres of exhibitions. Opening in 1964 the centre is built on a site where a pump station pumped water from Western Springs to the centre of Auckland. The centre has hours of educational entertainment for all ages, there's an activities centre with over 20 displays including a huge Hand's on Science Centre. There are all forms of road transportation, trams, railway stock, aviation, military, busses you name it- if it moves they have it. Some of the more notable items in their collection include the only Solent Mark IV Flying Boat in the world and one of only a handful of WW2 Avro Lancaster Bombers in the world, the first chilled beer tanker in the World and Billy T James' 1954 Chevrolet. MOTAT also has one of the largest fire engine collections in the world. A very impressive collection indeed.

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Would you go flying in a Ford Pinto?

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The first in our series of the world's worst cars is one of the worlds worst cars mated to part of a plane to become the AVE Mizar. It was a project by a former Northrop engineer in 1973 to develop a flying car, It consisted of a Cessna Skymaster rear attached to the Ford Pinto with production scheduled to start in 1974. AVE planed to sell the Mizar for between US $18,300 and US$29,000. A few prototypes were built but the project ground to a halt when the developers of the Mizar were killed when the the wings of the craft broke away from the car mid flight resulting in a fiery crash. This would have to be the first time a Ford Pinto's explosion was not caused by someone ramming them from behind. The National Transportation Safety Board reported in addition to poor design and loose parts, that bad welds were partly responsible for the crash, a bad idea was naturally assumed.  

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