Your Flying Car is Here

by Nancy Atkinson on July 7, 2011

The Transition flying car by Terrafugia. Credit: Terrafugia.

Here’s your flying car. And it’s just gotten approval from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to hit the road. Terrafugia’s Transition® Roadable Aircraft needed a special exemption for having special plexiglas windows and landing-capable tires for a road vehicle, and this is the first combined flying-driving vehicle to receive such special consideration from the Department of Transportation. It can be yours for a downpayment of $10,000, with the current total cost of $250,000.

Terrafugia — which is Latin for “escape from land” — says this new flying car combines the unique convenience of being able to fold its wings with the ability to drive on any surface road. You can stow the wings for road use and deploy them for flight at the airport.

See a video below of how it works.

It has a maximum speed of 100 knots (115 mph, 185 km/h), and a range of787 km (490 miles). The easy change-out from airplane to car or car to airplane can be done within the cockpit, allowing pilots to drive in case of inclement weather. You can get a full vehicle parachute, just in case, and it includes many crash safety features found in regular cars.

The Transition on the road. Credit: Terrafugia

No need for renting hanger space at the airport – just park it in your garage. When using it as a car, it is 2 meters (80 inches) tall, 2.3 meters (90 inches) wide and 6 meters (18 feet nine inches) long.
When flying, the Transition is 2 meters tall (78 inches) and 6 meters (19 feet 9 inches) long, with a wingspan of 8 meters (26 feet 6 inches.)

And no need to check your bags. An on-board cargo compartment holds your carry-on luggage and includes enough room for golf clubs.

Find out more at the Terrafugia website.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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