News / Science & Technology

Flying Cars Could Be a Reality in Two Years

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

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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:

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Comments
     
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

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