Industrial glamor for the future

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I mentioned earlier the beautiful old airplanes from the glamor days of air travel on display at the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual "Airventure" show in Oshkosh. That was yesterday; what about tomorrow?

Without getting into all the details -- I was only there for a day, I'm already fantasizing about the the full ten-day session one of these years --  here are a few:

The Terrafugia flying car -- or, more precisely, drivable airplane. Back in March, the Terrafugia took its first test flight:
Terrafugia_Takeoff.jpg

Here's how it looks on the ground:

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_7822.jpg

And, in a company video, in land-bound mode:
IMG_7825.JPG


Another flying car, the Maverick, from a missionary/explorer named Steve Saint who is teaching indigenous Amazonian people to fly it to bring in supplies or get medical help.
ItecSteveSaint.jpg
More on Saint and his jungle flying projects here and here.

Honda's personal jet:
IMG_7849.JPG



Cirrus Vision personal jet (Cirrus officials doing the polishing)
IMG_7799.JPG

A potential customer and his airplane, cruelly separated by a million dollars or so.
IMG_7798.JPG


Electric-powered made-in-China airplane, the Yuneec. (Get it?!?)
yuneec-e340-electric-aircraft-post.jpg
This one I didn't actually see myself: photo and more info here.

Questionable adverising strategy:
IMG_7835.JPG
The same talisman Amelia wore! Hmmm....*

More slyly charming advertising strategy, for a plane in the "light sport" category from a Czech aircraft works.**
IMG_7852.JPG

There's way more  but this will do for now.

UPDATE
: I was typing this up this morning, went away for a while to ail from swine flu or some similar malady, and come back to see that my colleague Lane Wallace has just now mentioned many of the same airplanes and same companies! So you now have independent verification from two sources of the interesting-ness of these innovations. Lane is a "real" aviation writer, too, so her judgment is probably more credible.
_
* Note to the young: Amelia Earhart was lost in the Pacific in 1937. ** Note to the old: the Czechs are playing off their country's role as source of other kinds of models who might incite jealousy.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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