Although the day when there will be an aero-car in every garage could be far off, Ford research designers developed this 3/8-scale model to show how such a vehicle might look.
Named the Volante, the model was not operable but represented a design concept of a vehicle that was possibly capable of operating either in the air or on the ground. The tri-athodyne concept called for ultra-sophisticated use of the ducted fan principle, employed in a unique manner.
The front rotor featured two sets of contra-rotating blades in conjunction with two opposite-rotating, multi-bladed fans in the rear. This system theoretically cancelled out all propeller torque characteristics, with the result that aerodynamic tail surfaces were not needed.
The Volante would be controlled by a system of adjustable lateral and longitudinal vanes, which would allow complete maneuverability in all directions. The tri-ducted fan arrangement also inspired Ford designers to take full advantage of the delta-shaped aerodynamic configuration.