When the U.S. civil aeronautics administration certified the Aerocar for operation in 1956, it seemed inevitable, at least to aerospace engineers, that before long the flying car would take its place as a fixture in the garage of the typical suburban ranch home. Yet that was not to be. The Aerocar, which looked like a car but had wings and could take off on a short runway, was too expensive to justify mass production. Aerocar International built only six of these vehicles, leaving the promise of the flying car unfulfilled—except in episodes of The Jetsons.

This article was originally published with the title A Drone in Every Driveway.