Flying cars are not just the stuff of sci-fi movies anymore. Massachusetts-based Terrafugia Inc. announced this week that its street-legal prototype, the Transition, completed its first flight last month, bringing the company closer to its goal of selling the flying car within the next year.
An announcement on the company’s website said the Transition reached an altitude of 1,400 feet during an eight-minute flight around the Plattsburgh International Airport on March 23.
The company says the two-seater Light Sport Aircraft can drive on roads and highways, park in a single-car garage and take to the skies using unleaded gasoline.
Click on the video to hear Terrafugia’s co-founder, Anna Mracek Deitrich, explain more about how the Transition works.
The problem is NOT designing these "convertible airplanes". The problem is not even making them affordable. The problem is training. MOST of the general population would never be able to complete pilot truing and get a license to fly. Many could, I have a pilot license but it takes over a hundred hours and much study time and costs a few thousand dollars and most people would fail the tests.
And what about bad weather? One would need an instrument rating and that would really limit the number who could use this.
Flying cars will be "real" some time after they can be 100% automated by voice commands.
Training is not really a problem. Many community colleges offer pilot training. Two classes – basic ground school and basic flying are all there is to fly in Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) under Visual Flight Rules (VFR), which means not flying into clouds, but going around them. Figure $10k and a focused 15-week semester of time.
If you graduated from high school you can handle a community college.
If you can afford the car/plane, you can afford the training.
An hour or so every week on a flight simulator on your PC will help maintain your skills when you can't fly.
One of the first and most important things one learns is when NOT to fly, and as she points out, when conditions are Instrument Meteorological Contiions (IMC), drive instead of fly. Even if the craft is equipped for flight in IMC, and the driver/pilot is trained (another $10 – 20k), rarely is one's schedule so intractable that one can't wait out the weather and one must fly IFR.
We own a flight training school and we can teach you. It's not hard. It's fun. It's a new freedom. And once you learn how it works and what to do, it's not scary anymore.
Sorry – given what the average American is – most shouldn't be allowed to drive, much less fly.
With something as sub-standard as community college flight school, we'll have unintentional terrorists in the air crashing into buildings because they don't know how to land. If we're gonna have idiots in the sky, then the rest of us should be able to reserve the right to completely disintegrate them with a bazooka if we feel like we are in danger, right? Like a stand your ground law!
Here comes the F.Y.Is,,,,,,, loool such a failed project on so many levels
Sounds like propaganda to me. The NWO and Illuminati employ special agents to insert forced brain-chip implants that constantly display their black propaganda. The news outlets are already taken over
Well... I think it is pound-for-pound the most ugly car for the money, and more-than-likely the most expensive ugly car in the world.
But it is also the cheapest new airplane you can drive home.
Bravo! (Yes... I want one)
Has anyone paid close attention to all the videos this company puts out? Never, and I mean NEAVER have the shown the version with the folding wings actually take flight. Watch closely there is always a cut/edit in the videos. Seems that have two versions, one with folding wings that drives around and another with fixed wings that flies. The company should come clean about the current fair-tale nature of their marketing.
Flying Car? But only in daytime. Ceiling 1400 ft. Perfect weather – no fog. Single prop. No parachute for catastrophic engine failure. No thanks! If you can afford one of these but value your life so cheaply then you deserve the consequences , PLEASE just don't crash into my house!
As a Private Pilot you can fly it at night – and the plane itself has a parachute.
Shows how much you know about piloting. I AM a private pilot. And you can't fly at night unless you are night current and have had training in flying at night. And since this is a Light Sport category plane if you have a Light Sport license I don't think you can fly at night and sport pilots CANNOT fly to towered airports. Private pilots can fly at night with the proper training and be endorsed for it but the endorsement is only good for 90 days so it must be constantly renewed. And any private pilot who is worth anything will NOT fly a wmpy sport type plane but go for a plane with some actual meat on it like a 172 or better. Skycatcher type planes are for wimps.
I do know. The comment was in reference to the statement that because its a LSA, it cannot be flown at night. This is not true. The night restriction is for the Light Pilot certificate – not the plane. So, if you have a private pilot cert, then you can fly at night. OF COURSE this assumes currency – everything in flying assumes currency – assuming your Medical is current – assuming your health is current, when carrying passengers assuming you have had 3 t/o landings in the aircraft type, assuming you're checked for the aircraft type, etc etc etc.
When you get your private pilot, a requirement in the training is night flying; the requirement you quote is only to carry passengers at night – your 3 t/o landings must be at night – but again, all of this assumes being current.
My statement only meant that because the plane is an LSA does NOT prohibit night flying. The endorsement for night flying is only for student solos – no endorsement is needed for certified pilots. Yes, Sport Pilot cert prevents night flying, but, as I stated, I was referring to Private Pilot – I guess I should have written Private Pilot Certificate.
I can not think of anything worse than putting a world of horrible drivers texting and not paying attention into the air above our cities and towns.
You said it! As much as I love technology this one is not happening, at least not to the general population.
The FAA would not allow a non licensed pilot in the air... They still have to follow all the rules pilots in planes would.
So SO true!!
They'll never catch on until they're: A) Egg shaped, B) Can hover, and C) Operate by gravitational repulsion of gravity
I would like to know if you make an illegal move up in the air would a police car/plane chase you and demand that you pull over and stop??
that sheet better be $1million dollars. i dont want nobody smokin a blunt up there on the way from a bar.
I just had to respond @Nick G.
It is characterized as a LSA b/c it meets the criteria of 2 seats, 1 pass., t/o weight <1,300# and max speed of 120kts. Likely this was done b/c of the less stringent requirements for a Sport Pilot Certificate – most notably no medical, just a valid driver's license.
The other restrictions of daytime flying are a restriction of the Sport Cert., a private pilot could fly this at night of it was equipped per FAR 91.205. Same would be true if you were a Priv that was IFR. The vehicle weighs 970 pounds and has a useable load of 460# – this seems to put it right at the Max. Gross t/o for seaplanes of 1,430# – interesting to see how that's figured in since they're indicating that it is a LSA
That being said, it still seems currently impracticable, but does answer the age old question about transportation at the destination airport. I do agree with your general viable market analysis.
Also, in the pictures I saw, it was not cannard and there were 4 wheels (car), so, a driver license would do it – But I sure would guess that it would have a terrible crash/safety rating as a car; are there even airbags?
I wish them the best – I love to see innovation, and you never know how the end use might end up – people often use things in a very unanticipated way.
@Bill – It is legal to take-off/land an airplane on a road – as long as you maintain legal separation rules
Hmm, looks like there are crumple zones, roll cage and airbags.
Meet George Jetson...His boy Elroy...Daughter Judy...Jane, his wife.
What most people are missing here is that this is NOT meant to be a flying car. It's a "roadable airplane". What that means is that you can fly somewhere within a few hundred miles, in non-IFR weather, like to the beach or commuting to work, and not have to call a taxi or get a rental car to get to your final destination, which is hopefully close to the airport. Or, if you live reasonably close to the airport, you can keep your plane garaged at home and avoid all the hangar and tie down fees.
No George Jetson stuff here. I blame the media for continuing to call it a flying car. And yes, the target market will be very small.
Right, the company makes a point of telling people it's not a "flying car". Good going CNN for getting that wrong. As a compromise between car and aircraft it is obviously not going to be best of either class. Like any aircraft, or car for that matter, it's for those whose needs fit well with its capabilities. Still a pretty big achievement in my opinion.
How do you figure? It has a separate drive train to a 4 wheel rear-wheel drive chasis, rear view mirrors, tail lights, steering wheel, turn signals, air bags, etc. It looks more like a car than an airplane to me. If it used the propeller to go down the road on three wheels but was street legal, then it would be a roadable airplane.
You're going to tell the creators of this plane that they're wrong? Aren't you a brilliant one.
I live in Tampa, what happens when the old folks are going slow in my air space?
lol. You should send that one to Neal Boortz!
My God! Flying cars have been coming soon since I was 7 years old reading Popular Mechanics in the 60s. Just the statement "Flying cars coming soon" and others such as "not the realm of science fiction anymore" are so cliche to me, I can't believe anyone would write about this as if it is "news."
Agreed, I'm guessing this is a paid article...
It's because it actually is happening now. That is called "news" because it is a new thing, happening.
But it isn't a new thing. Cars with wings, or airplanes with car bodies, have been around as long as the original poster has. A flying car is just that, a car that remains essentially unaltered but then fly.
Which this isn't. This is designed to be a plane that drives a few miles after flying to its destination.
Yep – like others said already, this has been done before and wasnt very successful then. Its just not feasible for the everyday person/driver. Its a very novelty items for a very specialized market. It wont become mainstream in any way.
Famous last words.
Never say never.
You're right, Ryan. A similar plane-car was marketed in the early 1950s. But it didn't "fly," financially, that is. The major difference seems to be that the new version's wings remain attached, while the owner of the vintage version had to leave the wings in storage at a local airport. Which brings to mind an interesting question: How do states' traffic laws deal with small planes taking off from highways? Not too well, I think!
gee people can't drive now why would I expect them to be able to pilot their airplane car without causing havoc?
It wasn't enough those on the road have to worry about each other. Now we have to worry about a car bumpers and tires dropping down on us from above.
Now a new source of revenue for the cops: DWF (Drunk While Flying).
Terrafugia I hope this is just a publicity stunt – if it ain't – read the comments.
wonder what happens to its airworthiness if somebody crashes a shopping cart into it at the local mall?
Yeah no kidding – or how about chips, dings, dents from road debris or other stuff? I've have strawberry sized rocks hit my windshield before. Not sure if I'd trust those fold up wings either!
You don't have much of an imagination, do you?
I'm sure it's built to withstand a few dings, dingy. You really don't think they took such details into consideration?
Haven't we already seen the "flying car" before? Only people with a pilots license will be able to buy it and you can only legally take off and land on a runway so it's not economical. Someone has big dreams, but they will fail just like everybody else that has tried this. The technology may be sound but the logic is unworkable.
"not economical"? If you fly it to a remote airport, you aren't stranded on the runway, looking around at fuel tanks, hangers, and other private airplanes. You can fold it up and take off for a daylong sight-seeing trip, then return to your home all without burning hours or being restricted to "bicycle" distance from the airport.
It would be perfect for daytrips to small airports in tourist towns..
That's pretty much the nail on the head. A flying car that requires a runway to take off and a pilot's license to fly simply isn't practical for the majority of Americans. Most of us live pretty close to where we work. There's only one airport in my city, so a flying car is totally useless to me. Terrafugia really should've asked themselves, "why?" before they started trying to market this thing. Yes, it's a neat piece of technology, and it technically fits the bill as aflying car, but it serves no purpose.
For a flying car to be useful, it MUST be able to take off and land vertically in a space no bigger than a standard parking spot. Until it can do that, you're not going to be selling many of them.
For Light/Sport Aviation, a Pilots License is not required.
Yes, for light sport aircraft, a pilot certificate most certainly IS required.
IIncorrect. You're thinking of part 103 ultralights.
didn't I see this article in the June 1955 issue of Popular Mechanics?
I could see a great application for this...in Antarctica.
I'm a private pilot with experience in both unrestricted and light-sport aircraft. While the concept of a "flying car" is cool, I do not see a practical niche for the thing.
As a light-sport aircraft it is restricted to: daytime flying, only one passenger, no instrument flying, maximum takeoff weight of 1300 pounds, and a maximum speed of 120kts (138mph). Remember, that takeoff weight includes passengers, luggage, and fuel. On the ground, it is not a car, having three wheels it is a motorcycle and therefore requires a motorcycle drivers license in addition to the recreational pilots license.
Looking at the pictures of the aircraft I see a number of significant issues:
1) The horizontal stabilizer is a cannard wing at the front. One jerk in a parking lot steps on it or dings it with their car and the machine is not safe to fly.
2) The folded wings are also a safety issue– exposed as they are to vandalism or accidental damage it would take nothing to make the machine unflyable.
3) Take two 170 pound adults, one 25 pound suitcase, and 120 pounds for fuel and there is only 815 pounds left for the vehicle itself– I'm sorry, but I just do not see a 815 pound vehicle being "safe" on public highways. It is the weight of a Honda Goldwing motorcycle but does not have the braking, handing, or visibility of a motorcycle.
It just seems to me to be the worst of both worlds– a poor aircraft and a poor ground vehicle. Take it out of a very controlled storage and operating enviornment and I'd never get in one. And I'm sure it's not going to be affordable. A conventional light sport aircraft of similar size is a $145,000 toy. Now add the cost of folding wings and road gear and it has to be expensive.
I hope the owners of the company the best, but I just don't see a viable market for it.
This is perfect for different situations. For people living in Cape Cod that want to go skiing in NH, it would them 4 hours to drive 138 miles. Terrafugia's vehicle lets you do it in one hour. And you don't need a taxi to get to the airport or get home. There are tens of thousands of unique examples like this one across America where Terrafugia's vehicle would make a big impact. I actually know the Founders from MIT, and they are brilliant tackling every problem and issue coming their way. They are truly great Americans with an incredible entrepreneurial spirit. We need more companies like Terrafugia.
I agree with all these points. In addition, isn't pre flight maintenance and inspection essential? If somebody dinks the side of the vehicle on the ground and there are unnoticed microfractures, these could provide a serious instability in flight. I just think there's too much responsibility with this and too little practicality. I think flying an aircraft requires not only lots of training and experience but also safe equipment to operate. Safety considerations for automobiles and aircraft are quite different. I think this will end up like the concord. It's either safe to fly or safe to drive. It can't be both. A compromise in structural support for easier lift will result in a dangerous automobile.
I won't waste the time to show how wrong you ar on so many points, but the public should totally ignore your diatribe.
Here's your 'best' example: You discuss the need for a motorcycle license due to three wheels. DUH! It has FOUR wheels!
The rest of your missive is as heavily flawed. May I suggest readers ignore the above comment.
It's "heavily flawed" and yet you provide no additional useful information. With little to no crumple zone in the front of the vehicle, a head on collision would be fatal.
I DEFINATELY AGREE, BUT IT'S A MILLIONAIRE'S TYPE OF THING. IF THEY WANT IT, THEN THEY'LL BUY IT NO MATTER WHAT. ITS NOT GOING TO BE UNTIL THEY DIE, THAT THEY ARE GOING TO REALIZE THE SAFETY ISSUES
"While the concept of a "flying car" is cool, I do not see a practical niche for the thing."
At least 1 person has said that last about every groundbreaking invention we now take for granted. You've joined the pantheon of nearsighted dullards.
“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”
Lord Kelvin quotes (Irish Scientist, 1824-1907)
Science has not yet mastered prophecy. We predict too much for the next year and yet far too little for the next ten.
— Neil Armstrong, speech to joint session of Congress, 16 September 1969.
Oh yeah, like hydrogen powered cars, like jetpacks, like submarine cars... all things that exist but nobody is going to buy them - here's another one. Electric cars, most people can't afford one. Or what about everyone getting the same awesome medical care as say the CEO of GE? If it isn't financially viable, nobody is going to buy it. Of course you can make an airplane that will fit on a road, and even if we eventually did invent flying cars, and even if we had them take off vertically and be very stable, with a good autopilot that needed no human input, again, who's gonna buy a 500k vehicle? Very few people.
This flying car seats 2 people, and has a top speed of 150mph. Thats what she said in the video. As for the wings getting damaged due to accident or vandalism or whatever, if it where me going to fly it, I would do pre-flight check before starting the engine. That make any sense to you?
And remember sport pilots CANNOT land at towered airports–non-towered only.
Yes, Sport Pilot Certs, but, current Private Pilot Cert, can with this airplane.
4. If you cannot take your wife and dog, it is not worth it.
I "fly" on the highway, "under the radar" at 150mph, not sure I need a plane.
uh – oh, look behind you... I'm back there, and I just turned on my rotating beacon.
Rotating beacon! How old are you?? 🙂
look out for us too, we are the family you might kill trying to save time
Not trying to save time – just love speed.
A lot of people seem to be seeing this as an icon of class divide. It may be a toy for the wealthy, but this also has applications for those areas of the country and world that are geographically remote. Fly from a small village to a town, and you'll still ahve wheels to get around.
Sweet! Sign me up!
Congratulations, Terrafugia Inc. You've finally created something that twelve men will buy. Enjoy all the riches!
I had heard that farmland across the nation was dangerous low in the nutrient iron......this product should help the problem immensely
Flying cars have been done before. There was one marketed in the late 40's, early 50's as I recall and it essentially ended up in a museum, as few were built and sold. It failed for the same reasons given in these comments: cost, need for extensive training and licensure, insurance and maintenance requirements, etc. What's more, these things tend to be mediocre cars and airplanes.
Yep, Kissimmee Air Museum has the only flying AeroCar on display. It is an ok car for an airplane and an alright airplane for a car. It is pretty cool though considering it was built in the late 50's.
Rob – Jonas, I have liked everything I've read on your blog until now. This post is great up to the point where you indutorce an air of negativity with your comment about Jasmine Star, Becker and Sean Flanigan. Please keep positive. Vitriol (even as diluted as it is in your post) is never good. You could have made your point without your last comment. Your work is amazing. Please don't sully it with comments like this. Keep positive and people will respect you and admire you for ever.
It's funny reading ppl complain that this is too expensive or impractical. If you can't afford it, you're not the target market. This is for the uber-rich who can spend whatever they like on toys. Bye bye middle class, welcome to the era where the rich & poor are farther apart than ever. It's class warfare that has been decades in the making and continuing to get worse because idjuts are buying into the rhetoric of reducing taxes on the rich.
If I was uber rich, I'd rather spend the money on a Ferrari and a Cessna Citation jet, both of which have better performance than this "light sport aircraft."
But when you drive your Ferrari to the local airport and fly your Cessna off to a private airport hours away, your Ferrari is still back where you left it. It's no fun to fly into a cool place and see only the airport – you're going to want to drive and see the tourist sites (most small town private airports do NOT have car rentals).
Yeah but Bldr – you have a point but I'm sure if you have the money for those things you have to money to either have another car at your destination, or have the means to rent one or have other transportation such as a limo or town car setup too.
If you can't afford the taxi to get to your destination, then walk instead of spending money on something that isn't a good plane or a good car. Jack of all trades, master of none.
and I thought this article had nothing to do with politics.....silly me
So misguided are you. Even if you increase taxes on the rich it will not pay down the debt. Stop spending, that is how you save. Do the math. The rich pay the highest amount of taxes in this country. Taxing them more will not decrease the debt.
No, YOU do the math. The Laffer curve and supply-side economics are a bad joke that is only perpetuated by fools. Raising taxes on the wealthy will INCREASE revenue, and the deficit is so large we need to both increase revenue AND decrease spending to get anywhere near healthy again.
Great, most drivers can barely manage 2 dimensions, now we will add a third.
I can see by many comments, people are concerned with filling the sky with crazy air drivers. Not likely, the price point is too high for even the average person, this is a novelty for the wealthy. However, is the FAA going to require flight certification before they let someone into the air?
Most people suck at driving. Do we really want these people to be legally allowed to fly a plane? God I hope not.
I'm in Wisconsin the most liberal state for drunken drivers and I agree most people suck at driving but in Wisconsin they not only suck at it but they don't realize it because they're drunk. I do not want planes crashing into my house.
I have mine already.They only cost $238,000.00
We have one Too! Ours was built in 1956 by Molt Taylor, AeroCar. We fly it sometimes, but mostly it stays in our hangar. You can check it out at the Kissimmee Air Museum in Kissimmee Florida. This is a Certified aircraft that you can disconnect the tail and wing section from and drive as a car as well.
Here's a picture (not mine, from the web) of the aerocar in the Seattle Museum of Flight. http://www.flickr.com/photos/zaruka/5806411463/
A useless product nobody needs........what they should have done was create a bathroom/shower that turns into a car. Get ready for work and commute at the same time, it is a total time saver.
I agree that it is rather useless. Nice fun idea but not practical for the average driver, nor do we really need more vehicles in our air space. Drivers will need to take flight courses and know where they can and can not fly. Just totally pointless from a practical standard. And, of course, only for the rich.
Really useless? That is why we have air park communities where people land there plane on the street and pull it into their home...This will take that one step further in that they will be able to land at an airport close to work and commute the rest of the way. Pretty amazing..its about time. 238,000 isn't that expensive, people are seeing it as a car only..factor in the price of a plane and that number gets a lot closer.
Lool!! Great idea!!
Not sure many americans are willing to cash out $250,000 + $50,000 right now. That's $4,556 a month on a 72 month term at 2.99%. On top of that gasoline costs of $200 a month at 20 MPG flight mode, Insurance rates of $2,000 a month (guessing since you'll be flying a lot), and fines for each time you accidentally cross into a No-Fly military zone.
I suspect people buying this novelty are not concerned with the sticker price
Novel idea, a "flying car", if you can find a way to avoid the worse qualities of both vehicles. On another note, good luck finding car insurance for a $275K car, and better luck finding aircraft insurance for an airplane that shares the road with cars.
excellent this will make it way easier to pull of an Indiana Jones style escape on short notice
I am not a pilot although I did log about 10 hours of dual time 40 years ago. I am a better than average driver, fully capable of handling a powerful automobile in the four normal planar directions of forward, backward, right and left.
Flight, however, ads the vastly important 3rd dimension to travel, up and down. The vast majority of drivers are challenged with the first four directions, imagine the havoc they would play when they also had to worry about two more (especially as they text or stare at the cell phone screen).
Probably not to worry, though as this flying car is a rich boy's toy anyway so not too many ordinary mopes will have access to them.
You're required to have a pilots license so I doubt we'll see many of these around.
Future 'flying cars' are projected to be computer-controlled, and VTOL. Think Spinner from Blade Runner. The Urban Aeronautics X-Hawk is planned to be heavily computer-assisted for easier flying in urban environments, and to allow for untrained pilots to handle it in emergencies.
Great, something for the next James Bond film
Finn McMissile already did it in the last Cars movie. Also, I seem to recall Speed Racer's Mach 5 could be configured to fly, but am not sure on that last one.
What a waste of R&D money, people can barely drive their cars as is. What a joke.
That's probably what someone told Ford . . . ". . . People can barely drive their horses & buggies now . . ."
This is just what we need another vehicle that Asians, women and old people can operate horribly and cause more death! It was bad enough when the cars couldn't fly, now buildings and all the people innocently working inside are potential "accidents."
WOMEN?? are you serious??? Most accidents are young people and MEN...hint to WHY their insurance costs are higher than men, IDIOT!
Actually Renee he is partially correct. Men tend to drive faster but women are responsible for more simple accidents involving common sense they lack.
Just what a world full of bad drivers needed: flying cars.
it looks cheesy. they need a better, sleeker design
They have had this sort of novelty plane since the 60s and 70s (perhaps even the 40s and 50s). This is not the "flying car" that the futurists have been talking about for 70+ years. In order to transform the landscape with the flying car we'd need A) affordability i.e., less than a 50K price (also without insanely expensive maintenance, licensing requirements, etc.), B) the ability to basically take off and land from the average home and workplace, C) A non-complex, mostly auto-pilot, flight system that wouldn't be so difficult to master that one would need a pilots license. All of that is possible, but we'll probably be seeing the next century before we have all those problems solved.
Despite the sensational headline, this is not new at all, they've had this exact same novelty item for the wealthy in production for decades. It will do zero to transform anything for anyone, other than some rich fat cats who want a new toy.
Oh what a complete pile of crap your post is. You leave the ground in ANYTHING you need a pilots license. Period. You will not be taking off from your driveway you dipsh** you will have to file a flight plan with the FAA and take off from an airport unless you have property large enough to be an airport. How stupid are you people? Flying cars will never happen because the masses are morons and can't even drive their cars without causing wrecks.
So you just supported everything in the original comment and call this person an idiot at the same time? Interesting.
real mature post there, dude. and you can fly an ultralight without a pilot's license, so not everything that leaves the ground requires a pilot's license.
I got as far as "highway driving till the first 80 Km/H crosswind" then I got up , ran to the bathroom and threw up.
I think it is a monument to "shoot from te hip thinking". First, I am a small plane pilot – I don't want to share the sky with 99% of the people I meet – I simply do not trust their ability (everything from remembering to put fuel in their car to road rage, to inattentiveness and the resulting accidents). Second, how many of these things have to crash into a home or business before they simply pull the plug on the idea? What about maintenance? The requirement is staggeringly high and yet people can't even see there way clear to spend $50 on a brake job until is "do or die". How about "terrorists"? If people are worried now, just wait until you can pick up one of these. What about noise? Have you ever had a small plane fly over your house? How about hearing that 100 times a day even if you do not live near an airport? These are few things that should be considered but there are probably 100 more. Bottom line, just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do something.
Thank you for your comments. Most Americans cannot even drive very well, why would anyone who thought about "flying cars" for less than ten seconds even think this was a good idea.It's not only unnecessary, but one of the stupidest ideas ever considered.
I don't think most of the people you know will even be able to afford one of these...just saying.
This is simply a roadable aircraft. All of your concerns apply to current general aviation. You'll need to be a certified sport pilot to operate this vehicle, so you won't see your fellow idiot drivers operating it. The $150,000 price tag will also preclude the hoards from taking to the sky in it. Just like the entire population hasn't already flocked to aviation, neither will they as a result of this vehicle. Maintenance and terrorism are no different for this vehicle than they are with other general aviation aircraft, other than perhaps being more expensive due to added complexities. This is going to be rich man's toy for a niche market. Until the price tag comes down and extensive training isn't required to operate it, you won't see it being widely used.
Want to see a flying car? Watch a Smart Car get rear ended.
No, that's a disappearing car.
God! I hope they don't sell this thing in Colorado. We just had a 72 yr. old lady kill two people here while piloting a plane. Last thing we need is a dozen or two, old geezers who had their driving licenses pulled, driving a flying car.
Indeed. At least they would have to have both a pilot's license and a driver's license. A private pilot landed a small plane right in the middle of one of our SoCal freeways just last year, about 1 mile from the airport.
Maybe she was just trying to fly into a Country Kitchen Buffet, in which case this vehicle could be a great help!
I'd rather pay $100,000 for a Martin Jetpack! They can go up to 8,000 feet and 100kmph. Commercial product ready by the end of this year they say.
So a pilot (yes a licensed pilot) can park the airplane (yes airplane) in their garage, drive it to the airport, take a short flight and drive the "airplane" back home. It takes more than a drivers license to operate one of these. I see people every day that can't operate a car with a drivers license...
Ok, so the founder lady said she lives in the burbs of Boston. The car plane is a fabulous idea for that area. Traffic going north and south can be a huge pain in the a$$ and the time to file a flight plan and go to the airport to hop over most of that would be time well spent. Boston, the killer app. for car planes!
This scares me. Not only is this OLD technology (as noted by other comments as the concept goes back to the 1940's), but considering the idiotness of today's distracted cellphone wielding drivers, imagine how many more accidents there would be with these.
This isn't really a car that flies, just sayin'. It's more a airplane that can be driven on the road. A minor detail, just sayin'.
We know what you're sayin', you don't have to tell us multiple times.
Obviously that isn't true. They have a working prototype, which takes a lot of money. If it flies OK and gets good safety ratings, private pilots will buy them.
Food for thought from the sailing world if you will have it. Asked what the worst designed sailboat ever would be, most common answer is the "MacGregor 26". More or less. Something of a hybrid sailboat and powerboat. It makes a horrible sailboat. It makes a horrible powerboat.
So hasn't this been done just about every year since the mid 1970s? The market just isn't very big for this sort of thing, but it always seems to crop up. I give kudos to the companies moving these car planes forward, but every news article I seem to read on them takes the same spin, as if the common driver could get one. As others in this post have said, this is for pilots who do not want to pay hangar fees or high fuel costs, nothing more.
I'm still waiting for the flying car with tunneling capabilities. That would be sweet.
I heard you can get the Kate Upton package on that one for another 100K. REALLY sweet.
This will go great with my JetPack.
Elroy, you come down here this minute. How many time have I got to tell you no ceiling walking with those anti-grav shoes!
I'd love to see what my insurance company would have to say.
Great take good look on the main page the story next to this one .... now times that by all dumb Americans.
Just don't hit a small rock in the road with it. Doesn't look like anything I would want to drive but only on the straightest and flattest of roads.
Funny how CNN has this story right next to the plane crashing into the grocery store.
Maybe someone overshot the landing strip at the grocery store?
If you are in an accident on the highway, do you call the State Police of the FAA? Just asking.
Looks like another toy for the wealthy. I won't be abel to afford one.
Planes can cost in the millions. For a brand new vehicle of this type the price is very low. As they become more popular and get mass ordered, the price will come way down. These may be as low as $100,000 in a few years.
$100,000 is a lot for a car, but for an airplane you don't have to deal with the TSA and get to fly yourself and a friend?
The Terrafugia – and any similar vehicles to come in the future, are simply amazing.
No, you won't be able to afford one, and based off of your spelling, it's no wonder why!
Idiot! there is a lot of people that can't spell right in English, but they have a lot more money than you! Can you even spell anything in a different language? most likely your answer will be NOPE!
Just one question: Will you still have to go through security and be groped by the TSA if you're driving your own car/plane?
No. You don't have to go through security at all if you fly on a privately chartered business jet. You just walk up to the plane and get on. I don't know for certain, but I think TSA screening might be mandatory for a certain size aircraft (I'm too lazy to go google it).
Wow, so many dumb people commenting here. First of all, it's not a flying car. Nobody but professional pilots are going to flying this thing. Think of it as a small plane that can park at your house instead of in a hangar. Because the transition is a plane, you are not going to drive it to the store or work. Somebody comes up with an amazing vehicle and all people can do is complain.
Saves on airport hangar fees, though. That is good.
I'd like to see a larger version made for ambulance companies and first responders/fire depts to save lives in remote parts of the country. Yes, they already have helicopters, but this versatile vehicle would be utilized in emergencies where airlifting to a hospital is not needed – it won't be sitting idle most of the time.
Not a bad idea, but it lacks vertical take off and landing capabilities. The amount of runway necessary for a well supplied emergency vehicle isn't practical in most urban or even suburban areas. Worse yet, quite a few places still dont have all of their utility lines buried, making for even greater problems without VTOL. What you want is a version of the Moller.
Moller is vaporware. Urban Aeronautics' X-Hawk is in prototype testing. The scale version, the AirMule, is in evaluation testing with the Israeli army as a UAV and evac craft. See http://www.urbanaero.com/
God help us all if Asians have this be nightmare we all know they cant drive.
Remarkable. Did your mother have any children that lived?
This is a great idea for population control.
LMAO good one.
Nah – too pricey.
Speaking of which
A flying car you say? I've already got one of those....it's called a plane.
Btw is your last name Ass? Just curious...
I read all your comments and except for Jonathan – almost all of U R so pessimistic. Is our American optimism dead for ever? We were the engine moving this planet for nearly 200 years. And now we do not believe in anything new, human, innovative. Is it because of those 3 senseless wars we are fighting? RE crisis? Political mess? What a dark tone of yr comments. Anna Mracek Dietrich sounds like a new born Amelia Earhart. Wake up America. Way to go Anna & Co.
75% of Americans are morons. They don't need flying cars.
I'm thinking you are a little light on the percentage of morons. Imagine a shopping cart damaging your airplane/car at walmart. Ok, I guess if you can afford the thing you would not be a Walmart shopper .. so make that Target ...
This one does it one better. http://youtu.be/SgHSaNtAMjs
You're right! It's only single-seat, but it's much more impressive on the ground, and it's ready for prime time. Thanks for posting that!
I guess the company did a press release again to make more news. This was covered last year as well.
This is a plane for pilots to use that they can drive away from the airport. You’ll have to start out as a pilot with a pilot’s license. It is not a car that flies for drivers to use. Anybody familiar with flying will know this thing isn't for taking off and landing to/from regular highways/freeways. Bridges, power lines, and crosswinds make that concept impractical.
When you start out thinking of it as a plane that can drive away from an airport, it starts to make decent sense. A pilot could fly from the LA area to Las Vegas and land at a smaller airport rather than the more expensive and high traffic Las Vegas airport. Then the pilot does not need to pay to rent a parking space for the plane because the pilot is going to drive away with it. The pilot also doesn’t need to rent a car because the pilot brought his/her car with him/her.
Another really good use would be for going between islands in Hawaii on short business trips. The pilot gets to take his/her car with him/her. However it being single-engine would be a serious consideration for me in that situation. It’s “better” safety-wise to have a twin-engine if you’re going over a large body of water. It’d be the pilot’s call. It’s a decision between the reduced safety of having only a single engine versus the convenience of having your car with you.
I always find it funny when journalists talk about flying cars as futuristic. In the Museum of Flight in Seattle they have a working flying car that was designed and built 50+ years ago! The inventor never got any investors to buy into the idea and so it didn't go anywhere, but the thing worked just fine. This is not new technology.
Disappointing ... If you need a pilots license to drive this thing, then it it not worth it. What we need is for Moller to finish his Skycar. Now, THAT is a flying car!!!
Keep waiting. Moller is a fraud, and has been fined by the SEC. 40 years of development gets only promises, not even solid roadmaps. There are many solutions whih are already in late-phase testing such as Urban Aero's X-Hawk, in prototype and being evaluated by the Israeli military, and the PAL-V, seen here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgHSaNtAMjs&feature=youtu.be
Insurance is going to be beyond what you can imagine, and so much for ±40mpg...this is going to be a trip in the auto industry.
Can't wait to see this on Worlds Scariest Police Chases. Wonder if the No Texting while flying applies here. Maybe (F)lying (U)nder the (I)nfluence. As a kid I wished to see flying cars. Now as an adult I hope for the safety of everyone this doesn't happen.
A niche for the top 1 percenters!
Never say never.
Same discussions were on line about wireless phones. It was a battle between satellite and tower operated webs. Today we have them both. Now it is about GPS frequences.
If safety rules and specific channels were created for sky traffic of flying cars this revolutionary system could be applied. I would love to fly from Chicago to Toronto, CA in few hours and land on a strip of wide HWY there. Guys, use yr imagination.
Insurance industry can murder any brilliant idea anyway.
The +$275000 price tag and the requirement that the pilot have a pilot's license = it's a sky yacht, not a sky car.
Maybe the niche market (rich people) will keep this company going, but the reality is if I can afford to own one of these, then I can afford to drive my car to my airport, park it and fly my regular plane where I'm going, then rent a car when I get there. Looks like Back to the Future was way off the mark. Oh well.
I can just picture a bunch of idiots crashing these things into houses.
Exactly! This can't possible be a good idea. There are so many horrible drivers out there already. Just imagine if some of them went airborne... Yikes!
I want a flying Delorean
What's scary is the little amount of licensing needed to own and fly one as they fall under the radar (no pun intended) of commercial and private real airplanes.
Facepalm........We've always had the technology to build a flying car. What we don't have is the traffic control system to use it like we want to.
Actually, it's more of a "roadable airplane" than a "flying car". I think that's one of the reasons that it stands a chance of actually succeeding. Past attempts have started with a car and tried to make it fly, but this time they went the other way and made an airplane drive.
Hmm, interesting, but what market is this supposed to cater to? Expensive, impractical, and dangerous. Not to mention that it opens a possible new avenue for auto theft with awful implications. How about self-driving cars instead?
When your talking about small planes one of the biggest issues is the judgement the pilot needs to make regarding the weather. Is this product going to have some sort of a weather feed? Flight path planner? or any other other things that would need to not only be present but would need to be perfect or any moderate commercial success for this aircraft will mean a lot of crashes.....
I'm all for flying cars but I think that for them to be successful on the mass market someone needs to invent borderline infallible safety mechanisms or the ability to turn over all flight control to an automated system.
Pretty cool, but I wouldn't want my aircraft drining down the road or sitting around in an unsecured parking lot.
Well, Dante and Randal will be pleased... 🙂
Randal will, Dante not so much...
"Flying car coming soon!"
Gee, how long have they been saying that?
Lets see, you driving down the road and some one bumps you or a shopping cart finds it. Instead of a little bondo and paint it now has to pass an air worthy inspection ?
Seems about as usefull as a segway. cool toy with no usefull purpose.
I thought I would never see the day... well I guess its time to jump!!
There will never be a widely used flying car in the near future. As a pilot, I can speak from experience in saying that flying is much different than driving. It requires a lot more training and intellect, as well as an attention to detail while flying. Not to mention insurance would be outrageous. If my plane got totaled because someone was trying to text a friend, I would be livid, as well as without a plane and a car. Now imagine how much an insurance company would charge you for a $250,000 car that you want full replacement on. There are other concerns, we dont have the airport, airspace, and ATC infastructure to support exponential aircraft usage growth. Also, being a skillful pilot is a full time job/hobby. The reason safety stats are so impressive with airlines is because all of their pilots are professionals that devote their entire life to being a safe pilot and learning the increasingly complicated regulations and aircraft systems. I am glad a company is willing to innovate on this area, but readers are cautioned against drawing the conclusion of flying cars for everyone in 20 years.
Well said, I couldn't agree more!
I can't agree more. Your average Joe Public is generally situationally unaware and therefore incapable of flying.
Couldn't agree more. When the common idiot can prove they are able to drive a car without issues then perhaps but, as it stands, most people can't drive a car very well. This would open up 1,000 problems and only solve one....having a new toy for rich people to buy and flaunt.
Well said, Steve O. This looks to be a dangerous, short-term novelty.
This looks like another toy for the rich, besides not being very practical. I can't see driving a plane around town and over bumpy new england roads, aircraft are far more susceptible to small deformations of the flight surface. So what do you do if you get bumped in the rear end, which in one of these, is a flight control surface?
Are you kidding me? Look around you. People can't even handle TWO dimensions, much less three. I fly out over the fields at home, and between some towns - but there's few of us, and it's mostly empty. Tough flying to a bar or club, then getting home. Arrangements get more - complicated.
They start with this nonsense, I'm staying home on weekends.
Seems cool. I might just wait for a few years for the presumably deadly kinks and quirks to be worked out. I guess I shouldn't worry because this thing might cost more than my current Corolla...
That is friggin pimp!
Just because you can make something doesn't mean you should.
Oh great won't that be a joy to the aviation community. People can't drive to save their lives now they're going to fly? Armageddon in the skies that's what this'll be.
The idea is neat, but don't almost all aircraft crashes come from these little planes? Add to the small plane mass the fact that the drivers are more enthusiasts than pilots, and I'm afraid the deaths related to this are going to be the nail in the coffin for the flying car.
Like how car crashes meant the end of the automobile?
Well the vast majority of car crashes don't result in the guaranteed fiery death of all occupants of both vehicles..