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Flying Cars Could Be a Reality in Two Years

  • VOA News

Terrafugia's Transition "roadable aircraft" is seen in flying mode. (Terrafugia)

Terrafugia's Transition "roadable aircraft" is seen in flying mode. (Terrafugia)

Tired of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic?

In just two years, a company called Terrafugia says it will offer flying cars for sale.

The company plans production of two “roadable” aircraft, the Transition, which has folding wings and must be driven to an airport for takeoff, and the TF-X, a car that could vertically take off and land.

“The potential benefit to humanity of a practical flying car is tremendous," says Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich. "The global impact of widely distributed, practical, personal airborne transportation has been estimated by the non-profit CAFE Foundation at approximately $800 billion/year. NASA has estimated it at $1 trillion/year. I believe it is impossible to quantify the benefit to humanity."

The Transition, which is much further along in development than the more conceptual TF-X, is expected to cost nearly $300,000, but the company says there were already 100 pre-orders earlier this year. The car uses the same engine for driving and flying, and can be run on premium gasoline instead of much costlier aviation fuel. On a full tank, the company says the plane has a range of about 800 kilometers.

Owners will have to have a valid driver’s license as well as a sport pilot certification to operate the Transition.

Terrafugia says the Transition must meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as part of the automotive certification process.

Recent drive testing showed the craft is capable of stopping from a speed of 120 kilometers per hour in a distance of only 34 meters, according to the company.

Here's a short video showing the Transition in car and plane mode:

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