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24/09/2010 1468

Ford - Volante

In 1958, Ford built several 3/8-scale concept car models, including the Volante. Looking slightly like an oversized kazoo, it was designed to use three ducted fans, each with their own motor, to levitate the vehicle from a parking place into the air.

Perhaps the most unusual of these models was the "Nucleon". While the Nucleon was not intended to be a flying car, it had on its rear deck something that looked like it was off the back of a Lincoln Continental. It was a small nuclear reactor that would power the car through the Atomic Age. This idea was typical of the times. Atomic energy was new to the world in 1945. For almost the next twenty years engineers envisioned this new form of power as being readily useable by the public, just like ordinary electric power. Various large corporations scrambled to get in on the action, and formed susidiaries to experiment with atomic power. Three Mile Island and Chernobyle had not yet demonstrated the limitations of this new source of energy. Undoubtedly, the designers of the Volante thought that it too might be powered by an atomic energy driven motor.





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