Renderings reveal how failed flying car designs from the past may have looked if they were made today (Mary Meisenzahl)
Blade runner


  • The classic 1982 science fiction movie "Blade Runner" predicted we'd have flying cars in 2019.
  • That hasn't panned out, and companies seem to be moving into self-driving, rather than flying cars.
  • Over the years many inventors have patented designs of what a flying car could look like, although they never actually made it to production.
  • Scottish leasing comparison startup LeaseFetcher commissioned a studio to render what these designs would look like if they were made.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

"Blade Runner" predicted that in 2019 we'd zoom around Los Angeles in flying cars, but that hasn't quite worked out. Although this forecast hasn't manifested in actual vehicles beyond basic prototypes, there's been no shortage of optimistic inventors eager to throw together their own designs. 

Scottish leasing comparison startup LeaseFetcher charged creative studio NeoMam with the task of bringing patent sketches to life with realistic renderings. The patents span from nearly 100 years ago in 1921 to as recently as 2016.

Flying cars no longer seem like the clear vision of the future that they once were. Waymo, Uber, Tesla, and other companies have instead turned their efforts towards self-driving technology, but these renderings offer a look at how people in the past envisioned the future. Scroll to see drawings from patents, and how designers rendered them.

This 1921 design by Henry J Snook has propellers that lift it up in the air. Snook patented this design only eight years after the Model T became the first car produced on an assembly line.

Google Patent Flying Machine

GoogleThe rendering of this vehicle looks almost like a bus with propellers on top.

01 Flying car concepts from real patents 1912_HD

LeaseFetcherIn 1939, Bruce L Beals designed a long, narrow flying car that resembled earth-bound cars of the period.

Google Patent

GoogleThe studio's rendering shows the car looks like a small plane from above, just with a car attached to the bottom.

02 Flying car concepts from real patents 1939_HD

LeaseFetcherA 1959 design by Einarsson Einar has front and back propellers, plus adjustable wings.

Google Patent flying car

Google PatentNeomam's rending of the design has the look of a classic '60s style car and shows the propellers in motion.

03 Flying car concepts from real patents 1959_HD

LeaseFetcherJung-Do Kee's 1996 design almost looks like the front of a plane attached to the back of a car, with a propeller and wings coming out of the trunk.

Flying car Google Patent

Google PatentNomam kept this aesthetic, using different colors for an average-looking sedan and the rear wings and propeller.

04 Flying car concepts from real patents 1996_HD

LeaseFetcher Around the new millennium, designs began to have more clean lines, like this 2001 Bradford Sorensen patent.

Google Patent Flying cars

Google PatentThe rendering of this car almost does look like something out of "Blade Runner," more so than earlier models that looked like typical plane parts attached to cars.

05 Flying car concepts from real patents 2001 Sorensen_HD

LeaseFetcherAnother 2001 design, this one from Cheng Ji, also achieved a sleek look almost resembling wings in nature.

Flying car Google Patent

Google PatentAlthough the wings on this car might be the largest, they feel more like part of the design, rather than pasting two different types of vehicles together at the end.

06 Flying car concepts from real patents 2001 Ji_HD

LeaseFetcherLarry D. Long's 2003 design is a departure from earlier uses of wings and propellers, using rotors instead.

Google Patent

Google PatentThis design also resembles "Blade Runner's" idea of flying cars of the future, not bogged down with wings or other features.

07 Flying car concepts from real patents 2003_HD

LeaseFetcherThe most recent design, Akash Girendra Barot's 2016 car, also uses rotors and can fit two or more seats.

Google Patent flying car

Google PatentThe designers took another average-looking sedan for this rendering, complete with rotors near the tires.

08 Flying car concepts from real patents 2016_HD


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