In 1946, Robert Fulton, distant relative of the steam engine inventor, developed the Airphibian (above photo). Fulton’s take on a flying car was notable in that he converted an airplane into an automobile instead of visa versa which is how many people had done it in the past. By making the wings, tail section, and propeller detachable, a person could convert the Airphibian from an airplane into a car in five minutes (photo below) then tow its aft section (which had its own wheels) behind the “car” portion.
The Airphibian had a six-cylinder, 150 hp, engine which propelled it at 50 mph on the ground, or 120 mph in the sky. The Airphibian could even reach an altitude of 12,000 feet, not unusual for a plane but a record for a flying car in 1946.
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