Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Off into the Wild Blue Garage
Is it a car? Is it a plane? Actually, it’s both. The first flying car, equally at home in the sky or on the road, is scheduled to take to the air next month.
If it survives its first test flight, the Terrafugia Transition, which can transform itself from a two-seater car to a plane in 15 seconds, is expected to land in showrooms in about 18 months’ time.
Its manufacturer says it is easy to keep and run since it uses normal unleaded fuel and will fit in a garage.
Carl Dietrich, who runs the Massachusetts-based Terrafugia, said: “This is the first really integrated design where the wings fold up automatically and all the parts are in one vehicle.”
The Transition, developed by former NASA engineers, is powered by the same 100 bhp engine on the ground and in the air.
Terrafugia claims it will be able to fly up to 500 miles on a single tank of gas at a cruising speed of 115 mph. Up to now, however, it has only been tested on roads at up to 90 mph.
What do you think? Would you be first in line to purchase one of these? That is, assuming money was no object.