Why drive when you can fly and drive?
A car that doubles as a plane has received NHTSA clearance to operate on land and in the air.
Tue, Jul 12 2011 at 1:28 PM
Terrafugia/Benjamin Schweighart/Splash News
Commuting to work like George Jetson is starting to look more realistic than it did even a few short years ago. The Transition Roadable Aircraft, basically a flying car, recently received clearance from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to operate both on land and in the air. This clearance will have Americans asking one another, why drive when you can fly and drive?
The Transition is the brainchild of Terrafugia, a company created in 2006 by MIT-trained engineers and MBAs. The car-plane hybrid can operate as a vehicle on the road and with the flip of a switch, wings will extend and the car will take flight.
This unique vehicle has a cruising range of approximately 490 miles with a maximum velocity of 115 mph. Once the vehicle turns into car mode, it gets 35 miles per gallon. Considering the dual nature of this vehicle, 35 miles per gallon is impressive.
Flying enthusiasts with a Sports Pilot license can get into the cockpit of a Transition with a minimum of 20 hours of flight time. Of course a valid driver’s license is needed to operate the craft on the road.
A vehicle as unique as the Transition doesn’t come cheap, though. According to Terrafugia, the final price is not yet set but the expected cost is around $250,000. This is quite a chunk of change and so the Terrafugia website takes the time to answer the question, “Why would I get a Transition instead of a car and a plane?”
“Having ground mobility and the ability to fly integrated into the same vehicle provides new options for travel that are not available with two separate vehicles: If bad weather is encountered en route, the pilot can land and drive without worrying about ground transportation or having to return to pick up his plane.”
Other benefits include the elimination of baggage transfers, no hangar rental fees and the use of lower cost automotive gasoline.
Interested parties can reserve a Transition with a $10,000 refundable deposit. For more information, visit the Terrafugia website.
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