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)

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

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs