News / Science & Technology

Flying Cars Could Be a Reality in Two Years

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

Related Articles

Video Space Tourism Closer to Reality After Second Virgin Galactic Test Flight

The company plans to begin commercial service in 2014

Hyperloop Proposed as Fifth Mode of Transport

System could send passengers through tubes at speeds approaching 1,000 kilometers per hour

Video SpaceX's Grasshopper Goes Up, Comes Down

Flight marks a milestone for the company, which hopes to revolutionize spaceflight
VOA News
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:

You May Like

Germany Celebrates 25 Years of Unity

October 3 is a public holiday, marking the day in 1990 when East Germany and West Germany reunited More

Analysts: Russia's Syria Strikes Shake Regional Powers

If Moscow bolsters Assad, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf countries may feel obliged to step in More

Video Innovative Nano-Tech Water Filter Prevents Disease

It can absorb contaminants like copper, bacteria, viruses and pesticides, says Askwar Hilonga, who has been successfully trying out his product in Arusha More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Abel Ogah from: Oju benue state Nigeria
October 29, 2013 4:31 AM
Fantastic innovation ! Humanity is leaping

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
October 21, 2013 2:47 AM
Yes, nice try!! I agree transportation cost of private airplanes would be expensive. If this prototype could drive on pubric roads, it would be convenient for owners. I could understand pre-orders came to one hundred. The inventor says this is the start and beginning of the emerge of actually frying cars and spectators also accept this frying car as a prototype and challenge of our dream. It is ridiculous to take this story serious and blame for its necessities.Thank you.

by: Kitagawa Keikoh from: Daikanyama, TKO
October 19, 2013 7:10 PM
It is not cool.
It's just a small plane meeting the Motor Veichle Safety Standard.

Flying cars should be without wings.

I don't understand why they've got 100 per-orders. It's waste of money.

by: Bobith from: New York
October 19, 2013 10:25 AM
If you can't take off from your driveway, it is not a flying car.

by: Anonymous
October 18, 2013 9:24 PM
Nice try

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs