The Aerocar was a "roadable" airplane certified for use as both a plane and an automobile. The prototype was completed in 1949 but not certified by the Civil Aeronautics Administration until 1956.
The Museum's Aerocar III began as the sixth and final Aerocar I. In the late 1960s, Taylor bought it back after it had been damaged in a road accident. He updated and redesigned the car section, leaving the wings essentially unchanged. Thanks to its large Lycoming 0-320 143-horsepower airplane engine, the Aerocar was quite sporty and by all accounts, it was also quite stable and pleasant to fly.
Of course the most remarkable feature of the Aerocar is its ability to transform from automobile to aircraft -- a process that takes about 15 minutes. The Aerocar can either tow its wings and tail like a trailer, or simply leave them at the airport. To get ready for flight, the driver/pilot first connects the driveshaft (flip up the license plate to make the connection) in the tail. Then, the wings swing around into position and are pinned into place. The flight controls -- movable steering wheel and rudder pedals -- slide into place automatically. The engine cannot start unless every connection has been properly made, an ingenious safety device.
Help us preserve this historic artifact for future generations. Click here to find out about the Museum's Adopt-A-Plane program.