APPLE SEEDS: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang of 2016
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang of 2016Summer traffic. I am astounded each and every Sunday - late afternoon at the amount of westbound traffic heading back toward the GTA. I rubberneck the highway as I drive across the overpass. The 401 from Wallbridge Loyalist Road to Hwy 37 is a regular shortcut across the north edge of Belleville for me, but I’m checking it out before I am having the “shouldn’t have done that” conversation with myself.
Self-driving cars have made headlines over the last few months. In June, General Motors announced plans to devote significant resources and investment establishing a strong research presence in Canada. (read story InQuinte.ca).
If you aren’t actually driving, does that relieve you of the stress of traffic? I don’t think so. Autonomous cars may be nifty but unless I am being transported in a limo-esque vehicle, complete with refreshments, traffic gets to me, as driver or passenger. Rural rambles are far more appealing.However, if Chitty Chitty Bang Bang were resurrected I could be convinced to take that evening jaunt to the City.
For those readers who do not fondly remember the 1968 film written by Ian Fleming (yes, that same Ian Fleming that personified Bond and of course his gadgets) the car, lovingly named for the sound it spewed at ignition, took its riders from road to sea to sky effortlessly. No wonder it became their “fine four-fendered friend”.
But wait… Has Chitty found her way into 2016? Her cousin certainly has.AeroMobil presented the first prototype concept drawing in 1990. You have come a long way baby.
The two-seater AeroMobil 3.0 has retractable wings, and with the back propeller tucked in, moves from car to plane-mode in seconds. It actually fits into a normal parking space and uses regular gas.
Youtube shows a test flight from March 23, 2015 with the planecar (and there is absolutely nothing plain about this car) taking off from a field, and soaring high above the trappings of conventional transit. Stefan Klein, the Chief Architect, in the video from the first test flight in October 2014, (SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH VIDEO) appears to be the epitome of “Keep Calm and Drive On”, surely a façade for the camera. Imagine driving your dreams!The price tag hasn’t been set yet, but should hit the market at a few hundred thousand Euros. And worth every penny, assuming that if you had that many pennies, of course missing traffic jams and owning the coolest vehicle – can we still call it that - on the planet is worth it.
This is real, it is happening, and – they are hiring. (Large brains required)
SOME CHITTY TRIVIA
The “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” built for the British stage production (debuted in April 2002) is reputed to be the most expensive stage prop in history (Guinness World Records) at a cost of 750,000 Sterling Pounds.
Chitty Bang Bang was the informal name of a number of celebrated English racing cars, built and raced by Count Louis Zborowski and his engineer Clive Gallop in the 1920s, which inspired the book, film and stage musical Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang.
The Chittys were built and stored at Zborowski's country house. The cars were so loud that Canterbury reportedly passed a by-law prohibiting them from entering within the city walls.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1IHKTLP0R8 Aeromobil 3.0 - First Test Flight
Editor’s note: For those who prefer the other, more famous Ian Fleming creation, the planecar bears a striking resemblance to Francisco Scaramanga’s nifty getaway car in The Man with the Golden Gun.
Aeromobil 3.0 - First Test Flight
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