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Researchers hope to debut flying car at Tokyo Olympics

A miniature, remote-controlled prototype takes flight.

TOKYO -- Flying cars have long been the stuff of science fiction, but the day may be approaching when anyone can take to the skies in their own vehicle. An engineering group backed by major automakers has taken on the challenge of creating an affordable flying car, with the goal of making a grand entrance at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

     When Los Angeles hosted the games back in 1984, the opening ceremony saw a "rocket man" descend into the stadium from the sky, powered by a small jet-propulsion pack strapped to his back. Cost and safety concerns meant the personal jet system never caught on, but at the time the venue bubbled with excitement and spectators briefly embraced the dream.

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