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Building the World’s Largest Delivery Company: FedEx Corporation (FDX) and More

American Tobacco, popularly known as the “Tobacco Trust,” is the parent of three of the four largest tobacco companies in the United States. It was forcibly split into R.J. Reynolds (now Reynolds American, Inc. (NYSE:RAI)), Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO), and Vector Group Ltd (NYSE:VGR)‘s Liggett & Myers in 1911 as a result of antitrust actions.

Why don’t we have flying cars, anyway?
The first successful flying car was first noted in the press via a brief aside in a Los Angeles Times aviation column written on Feb. 20, 1937. A day later, Waldo Waterman’s Arrowbile took off on its first successful test flight from Clover Field in Santa Monica. Powered by a Studebaker automobile engine and possessing detachable wings for road use, it boasted a top speed of roughly 60 miles on the ground and 120 in the air.

So why aren’t flying cars commonplace? Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), which had been manufacturing aircraft as early as the 1920s, attempted to assess the market for a flying car after World War II but could not justify the additional regulatory hurdles necessary to make such a product successfully. Undaunted by Ford’s abandonment of this project, two engineers attempted to create their own flying Ford car by attaching detachable Cessna wings to a Pinto. This Franken-craft worked about as well as you might think — the two engineers died when the wings fell off in midair. But hope springs eternal: The International Flying Car Association, founded in 2012, eagerly touts the imminent emergence of two modern flying cars on the market. Both undertook successful test flights in 2012, but as we’ve seen, it takes a lot more than going airborne to move from cool sci-fi concept to legitimate consumer product.

The article Building the World’s Largest Delivery Company originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Alex Planes.

Fool contributor Alex Planes holds no financial position in any company mentioned here. Add him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter @TMFBiggles for more insight into markets, history, and technology.The Motley Fool recommends FedEx, Ford, and United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS). The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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