Mike the Mad Biologist

jetsons
(from here)

Well, it’s not a jet car, but Terrafugia has made a flying car:

The Terrafugia, a small airplane that can drive on roads and has been billed as the first “flying car,” is now one step closer to becoming street- and sky-legal.

The vehicle has cleared a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulatory hurdle for craft classification by weight. A full-fledged production prototype might be just around the corner, according to multiple reports.

At issue was Mass.-based company Terrafugia wanting its Transition vehicle to be classified as a “Light Sport Aircraft” by the FAA so people eager to fly it would need only 20 hours of flying time.


One hopes this won’t become the new ‘light sport utility vehicle.’ Here are some basic specs:

The Terrafugia completed its maiden voyage last March in upstate New York. According to its maker, the Terrafugia can transform from a roadable vehicle that can hit a highway speed of 65 mph to a winged aircraft in 30 seconds.

The plane version can cruise at about 115 mph (185 kph) and cover about 400 miles (644 kilometers) worth of turf before needing a refill of regular unleaded gas.

The price of a Terrafugia is expected to be around $200,000 and deliveries could start next year, assuming the vehicle passes crash tests.

Crash tests? Sounds dangerous, if kinda fun.

Personally, I’m looking forward to worrying about fucking morons landing on me. Anyway, here’s some video:

Comments

  1. #1 Nomen Nescio
    July 7, 2010

    they want a single vehicle capable of meeting the weight limits of a light sport aircraft, and the crash test criteria for roadworthiness? i’m betting money they’ll need exemptions from some part of one or the other.

    (LSA’s are a neat category for people who want to get into flying cheaply and quickly… but they do that by cutting corners like no production automobile could ever get away with cutting. they’re made “safe” by stringent FAA restrictions on how, where, when, and who can fly them, basically a giant “at your own risk, and you better not risk anybody else” clause.)

  2. #2 Mack
    July 8, 2010

    Flying cars are for either fun or keep them into the Museum. The World always expecting some revolutionary cars. Those cars should fulfill the fuel alternation and have to be built upon to reduce the increasing traffic density. What can people do with the flying cars? Nothing. It would be the head-ache to everyone those who will owning the flying car, due to the high possibility of accidents, less space to land and take off the cars, high fuel necessity and taking high risks. Better the genies may try to spent time for invent the car which runs in the fuel alternation, economy and have to reduce the traffic density.

  3. #3 *littlestar.
    July 8, 2010

    I want one, I want one, I want one!!!

  4. #4 Steve
    July 9, 2010

    Hey, I like the idea. There have always been people who balked at unusual ideas like this. Look at manned spaceflight. All that money spent to put man on the moon and what did we get out of it? Cryogenics, microchips for your cheap cell phones, satellite tv in every home, and don’t forget Tang :) It’s projects like this that create solutions to seemingly unrelated problems that spin off entire industries. Even if it never flies again.

  5. #5 steve
    July 9, 2010

    P.S. Why doesn’t Elroy have his seatbelt on?

  6. #6 Jim Thomerson
    July 9, 2010

    There have been several previous flying cars which both flew through the air and drove down the road. They had little impact except for interesting articles in airplane magazines.

  7. #7 Cliff
    July 10, 2010

    True flying cars – ones that can take off vertically from anywhere – will require automated operation for urban areas. Under automated operation, there is no reason to expect a high accident rate: the rate might even be lower than it is today with manual operation of ground vehicles.

    Fuel cost is lower for long distances with an efficient aircraft. On the other hand, there is a-lot of promise with regard to electric engines for flying vehicles – even electric turbine engines. Solar energy is an inexhaustible supply of electricity, and so there is no reason to assume that in the future we will not have the energy to power flying vehicles even for local travel.

  8. #8 DonaldJ
    November 28, 2010

    I’ve had the engine specs for a flying car engine since 1983.. A liquid electricity emitter, “the plazma engine”… I require a lab to build it, but all I ever get is corporate and government “brain-suckers” desperately trying to rob data from my mind, day and night.. which causes me migraines.. I attack them mindless mind-robber brain-suckers on approach with nasty sorcery, which I suppose marks them for recyclement…

    The liquid electricity emitter makes its own electricity… I predict speeds up to 1200 mph with four tiny engines, each 14-inches long by 4-inches diameter…

    I suppose I don’t generate interest for funding, because I’m not a people person, I’m uneducated, and I’m poor… It’s your loss…

    Deal is: Humanity provides me with a small safe lab, in the fresh granite mountains near Calgary Alberta Canada, and two Hummers, a cabin near a clean creek, and a credit car.. In turn I will build the plazma engine… It needs the fresh granite mountains as a blast shield, in the accidental event of antimatter detonations…

    No lab, no cabin, no hummers, no creek, no funding = no flying cars in your life-times… It’s this way, or it’s no way…

  9. #9 Richard A. Strong
    March 26, 2011

    You are cordially invited to see my StrongMobile Flying Car Project at http://www.strongware.com/dragon. You can view a 2-minute video of my full-size mockup model and consider the part about “Busting the Myths”.
    I would greatly appreciate any opinions or recommendations you may care to offer.

    Rich Strong (Major,USAF,Retired)

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