We’ve been dreaming of flying cars ever since the advent of the car itself. Now those dreams are about to become a reality. Starting next month, pre-sales begin on the Terrafugia, a car that can transform from a road vehicle to a vehicle that can take to the skies. So how practical will this new beast be, and what can it do?
The new vehicle will be a hybrid and is classified as a Light Sport Aircraft by the Federal Aviation Administration. The two-seater can make the change between car and flying-car in less than a minute.
The new vehicle has been appropriately named the Transition. Early reports say the Transition can fly up to 400 miles and can reach speeds of 100 mph.
It is unclear how much weight will affect the range of the vehicle, but the company has built in room for the storage of luggage.
The dream of flying to work will come with a bit of paperwork. While the vehicle meets the standards of the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, it will require a license for operation in the air.
In order to fly, the Transition folds out wings. It has fixed landing gear and is capable of reaching altitudes of 10,000 feet.
Terrafugia has another model in the works: the TF-X. This version would hold 4 passengers. In addition to the increased capacity, the TF-X can be programed by computer before it ever takes off.
“The TF-X won’t require an airport for takeoff and landing,” the company claims, “and it will drive on all roads and highways – providing the convenience of true door-to-door transportation.”
The TF-X will also have an increased range. It should be able to fly as far as 500 miles, and should be able to reach speeds of 200 mph.
“Developing this new technology has allowed us to test several different mechanisms and generate process improvements along the way,” Terrafugia CEO Chris Jaran added.
“We are at the critical point where we can implement the best design features based on years of flight and drive testing.”
“This will improve function, safety and aesthetics for the optimal flying and driving experience.”
Will these finally begin the revolution promised in utopian visions of our log-jam free future?