Flying Cars—No Longer of the Future

by nph | July 7th, 2010

Terrafugia Flying CarThis time next year, it’s possible that you may see a flying car in the hover lane—well, not exactly. Daily Finance reports that the four-year-old Massachusetts company, Terrafugia, plans to deliver the Transition Roadable Aircraft—a hybrid vehicle capable of both flying and driving—to its first customer next year.

Terrafugia has engineered a light aircraft fully equipped with four wheels, wings, and a back propeller, and though the front-wheel-drive Transition will require a runway for takeoff, it is fully capable of driving on the roadways and can achieve 30 miles per gallon the highway.

Operating on a 20-gallon super premium gasoline fuel tank, the air the Transition averages 115 miles per hour and can fly in a 460 mile range. According to a CBS News article, getting a license to drive the Transition just got easier, since recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) classification of the vehicle only require 20 hours of logged flying time.

The Transition weighs 1,430 pounds, 110 pounds more than the FAA allows for light sports aircrafts, meaning Terrafugia had to receive an exemption from the FAA. As the extra 110 pounds constitute airbags, a crumple zone, and a protective safety cage, the FAA let it fly.

The company plans to unveil its flying car next month at the Experimental Aircraft Associations convention in Oskosh, Wisconsin, and hand over the keys to its first owner in late 2011. Terrafugia has received more than 70 pre-orders, requiring a $10,000 deposit, and they anticipate a two-year production period. Transition vehicles are priced at $194,000.

For more information about Terrafugia’s Transition Roadable Aircraft, you can visit the company’s website and watch a video here.

Sources:

“‘Flying Car’ Gets Big Break from FAA.” CBS News. June 2010. Accessed on 07/01/2010.

“Terrafugia’s Flying Car: Fly in, Fold Up, and Drive Home.” Wang, Ucilia. DailyFinance. June 2010. Accessed on 07/01/2010.