Many people have tried to make a car that is also a plane, or vice
versa while they were stuck in traffic on the highway. Who would not
want to unfold their wings, soar about the suckers on the road and
bypass all of the traffic below?
Well one man, and one company Terrafugia, and bringing us one step closer to that dream. No, it does not look like the car from the classic cartoon the Jetsons.
The Transition In a Driveway
The inventor of this cool new toy is Carl Dietrich and he has dubbed his flying car the Transition. It will be available for those of you with the spare 194,000 dollars to spend on transportation in 2010, but you can put a deposit down on one today for just 5000 dollars.
Fueling up the car plane
The drivable plane is more like a car than it is a plane. First of all it runs on normal car gasoline. This is a benefit because it saves you having to find a supplier for aviation gas, or needing to worry about gassing up two tanks, one for driving and one for flying. Also when the wings fold up you can fit the Transition into your garage, something you can't even say about most large trucks. It may even be better on fuel than a truck because in order to fly planes have to be built to be light. This has actually been one of the major stumbling blocks in the creation process. Few cars on the market are light enough to take wing.
This model even has regular car tires, so in theory you could take it to your local service shop to get them replaced when they start to go bald. Just be sure that your mechanic does not take it for a 'test run'.
The auto folding wings
Just remember that they won't be responsible for any speeding tickets, or hefty FAA fines that you might end up getting and no matter how tempting it may be to buck the rules airstrips exist for a reason and your mother is law will not appreciate you landing in her flowers.
All images courtesy of Terrafugia Inc.
Read a terrific article about Experiments With The Flying Car.