A patent filed by Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America (TEMA) has been sighted by AutoGuide.com, one that has been applied for a flying ‘helicopter car’. The patent is for a “dual mode vehicle, wheels for the vehicle and a method of transitioning the vehicle from a land mode to a flight mode,” according to the filing, and the vehicle’s wheels are attached to spaced arms fixed to a central pivot, said the report.

In order to switch from land mode to flight mode, the spaced arms extend upward and the wheels begin to spin. Rotors begin to extend from inside the wheels and assume the role of a helicopter’s rotors, where they spin to generate lift and help the car get airborne.

Each of the wheels and rotors will be powered by an electric motor which will draw energy from a power system, which could be a battery pack, gas turbine generator, hydrogen fuel cell or “any other energy conversion device capable of generating sufficient electric power to drive the wheels of the dual model vehicle.”

In land mode, the vehicle could also be steered by changing the speed of the wheels on one side of the dual mode vehicle, similar to how a dual-tracked vehicle – such as a tank – would be steered. Toyota has shown various developments in the area of flying vehicles, such as a patent sighted for a shapeshifting, flying car as well as a 40 million yen investment in Cartivator for a drone-like vehicle named Skydrive.

Toyota isn’t the only company working on this front. Elsewhere, Geely finalised the purchase of flying car developer Terrafugia, while Airbus has been working on the CityAirbus, which is aimed at urban air travel.