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Tue February 21, 2012
Datebook: February 21 – Waldo Waterman’s Flying Car Lifts Off 75 Years Ago
What ever happened to the flying car? Why don’t we live like the Jetsons today? Waldo Waterman invented the first tailless monoplane, the first aircraft with modern tricycle landing gear, and the first successful low cost and simple to fly flying car. The idea behind the Arrowbile was to develop a transmission drive system that could operate the propeller for flight and the rear wheels for groudn operation. The aircraft was required to meet the certification standards of thee Bureau of Air Commerce. Waldo used readily available auto components for most of the vehicle. The only device used for flight control was a wheel yoke suspended from the cabin – the same used to turn the nose wheel in ground operation. Waterman flew the first test flight of the Arrowbile on February 21, 1937, and found the aircraft easy to fly and virtually spin and stall proof. The price tag was $3,000 (over $45,000 today). Waldo continued to improve his design over the next few decades. In 1957, the aircraft was listed in the experimental category, but the market had vanished. His flying car can be seen at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
It’s Tuesday, February 21
Jian Ping, the author of “Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China,” gives a reading on Thursday at 7:30PM in the Clara M. Eagle Art Gallery. The reading is free and open to the public, with a book signing and reception to follow at the Faculty Club. The film adaptation of the book will be shown tomorrow at 7:30 in the Alexander Hall Auditorium.
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network holds a meeting Thursday evening at 6:30 at The Legacy Personal Care Home in Paducah. The meeting is open to supporters, pancreatic cancer survivors, caregivers, and those interested in joining the fight against pancreatic cancer. To learn more, visit pancan.org.
Playhouse in the Park presents “13” Friday and Saturday at 7PM and on Sunday at 2:30. The high-energy musical is about discovering that cool is where you find it, and sometimes where you least expect it. Reserve tickets by calling the Playhouse at 759-1752.
Find more about these and other community events at wkms.org, and thanks for listening.