As a kid conceived and born hearing bombers taking off, human flight was a literal reality. At Dow, my second grade teacher would have to stop talking while the windows in school rattled as another wave of B-52s loaded with armed nukes headed for the boundary of the former Soviet Union. My dad often mused his surprise that the concept of a flying car in every garage hadn't materialized in his lifetime.
My twenties were spent under a hang glider either aloft or waiting for wind on the top of a mountain somewhere drooling over the Aurora 400 in the back of Popular Mechanics. I even learned nearly everything there was to know about the V-22 Osprey before it entered service. A crash on my birthday in '82 compelled the purchase of a sailboat instead of a new glider. The design of a tilt-rotor aircraft using the remains of my crashed ship lies at the bottom of the box holding my "failure files."
In '96, Paul Moller convinced me to pursue a brief sales fantasy. VTOL became an obsession.
This morning, NPR announced that, although it will not be VTOL, 2011 will finally be the year.