Vehicle: Car: Suspension
Flying Car   (+11)  [vote for, against]
"It is not the car that flies, it is only yourself" ~ bald kid from the matrix.

This is one of those ideas that just seems so obvious it beggars belief that it has not already been done.

Take a vertical wind tunnel. In fact all you need is a very powerful fan. This blows a strong wind upwards that a skydiver can jump into and, within a diameter of a few metres, happily float around indefinitely.

Now consider the goldfish bowl. Recent improvements in technology, in conjunction with an idea once posted to the bakery, have allowed goldfish to roam on land. A camera tracks the fish as it approaches the edge of the tank, and drives the vehicle in that direction.

Thus -- thus! -- the only logical progression for these two technologies is the Flying Car. The driver, or pilot, floats merrily several metres above the vehicle, and by flying in a certain direction can steer the contraption to follow, thus! experiencing continuous uninterrupted flight across all manner of terrains.

Commute in style. Fuel consumption probably measured in litres per second.
-- mitxela, Jan 24 2016

If the vehicle is ground-based, it probably can't go across "all manner" of terrains. If the vehicle flies, then the blast of air pushing the person upward will also push the vehicle downward.
-- Vernon, Jan 24 2016

I'm not kidding, this is one of my all time favorite HB ideas.

Maybe my favorite.

Actually, definitely my favorite.

Absolutely friggin' brilliant!
-- doctorremulac3, Jan 24 2016

The "up" fan could simply be a "down" fan with some of the force ducted upwards, thus most of the wind keeps the car aloft with enough ducted surplus that the pilot floats merrily.
-- whatrock, Jan 24 2016

If you have something like a quad-copter, but with 6 or 8 propellers in a circle (octocopter?) and the structure is circular so that the center is empty, while most of he air is being pushed down, there should be an updraft in the center between the propellers.

If you're lucky, this will give the eternal freefall experience, with no fans visible underneath you, plus the ability to travel wherever you'd like as described in this idea.

Okay, who is going to be the first to prototype this with a drone and a ping-pong ball? Bonus point if you can throw the ball and the drone can fly after it and catch it in the central updraft without touching it.
-- scad mientist, Jan 25 2016

Of course if the vehicle has enough down-blowing fans, a single up-blowing fan won't keep it from flying, and I knew that when I wrote that other anno.
-- Vernon, Jan 25 2016

An uplifting bun for you +
I think only 1 variable* fan is needed, the same as a ping pong ball in an air stream.

*Avoiding low bridges
-- Ling, Jan 26 2016

Thank you, [Doctor].

I imagined the prototype of this would just be the prop/engine from a spitfire strapped to the back of a monster truck. But if it's feasible to fly the whole thing, even better.

For road driving, by tucking into a ball and then suddenly unfolding your limbs, it may be possible to jump gantries / low bridges.
-- mitxela, Jan 26 2016

I am envisioning this for my scifi channel movie. I hope you scifi channel scouts are paying attention. The vehicle would be an air / water airboat, powered by a giant fan as airboats are. On being surrounded by enemies approaching thru the brush they tilt the fan to point up and the driver jumps in, ascends to 20 feet and guns down all approaching monsters.

I very much like the idea of going fast and abruptly tilting the propulsion fan down to catch air and do jumps over mutant alligators / zombie hordes who then intercept pursuers (alligators intercepting zombies and vice versa, although at different times in the movie)

More: tilt ability for fan blades so backwards wind can be turned into forward wind without loss of fan momentum. This useful for blowing boarders off the boat. One determined and large boarder stays on, walking grimly against the wind towards the heroes. They reverse the fan again, sucking enemy thru the blades and out the back.

This fan boat stuff just writes itself.
-- bungston, Jan 26 2016

It should be mentioned that a postapocalyptic fanboat (and really any other postapocalyptic internal combustion engine) would run on moonshine. In the movie this would be produced not from corn squeezings or potatoes but Skittles of which they have fortuitously obtained a truckload. Over the roar of the engine the pilot yells "TASTE THE RAINBOW!" and they are off.
-- bungston, Jan 26 2016

random, halfbakery