“It’s the future – where is my flying car?” Somehow, a lot of us expected that shortly after the year 2000 we would all be living in a world that resembled a cartoon called The Jetsons. We hoped that one day soon we would be making our daily commute to work via a flying, saucer-like, car. This has not yet become a reality.
However, Terrafugia has accomplished something that puts us all a little bit closer to seeing that dream realized. It is a flying car. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. What they have created is more like a plane that you can drive as well as fly. “Flying car” sounds more intriguing, though, doesn’t it?
It is called The Transition. It was designed to create a solution for a problem that many private and sport pilots face. When they want to fly their small aircraft, they must first find some way get themselves to the garage that the plane is housed in. After they land their plane at the next airport, they have the same problem once again. How are they going to get from the airport to their hotel, (or back to their home)?
The Transition is a combination of a small aircraft and a car. It is small enough for a pilot to fit one into the garage at his home. The wings fold up, and the vehicle can be driven on any surface. A pilot can drive the Transition to the airport, put down the wings, and then take it for a flight. When he lands at the next airport, he can fold the wings back up, and drive to his hotel, or back to his house. This saves the pilot the money he would usually be spending on the airport garage that would house his plane. It has been classified as a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA).
It isn’t the type of vehicle that is meant for a person to drive around on a regular basis. It has rear wheel drive, and the doors open in an automotive style for easy entry and exit. There are two seats inside, one for the pilot, and a second one for a passenger. It has modern glass avionics, automotive crash safety features, and a full vehicle parachute that can be used if needed.
The Terrafugia website says that it takes about 20 hours of flight time in a Transition-specific course for a person to be certified to drive / fly one. You will need to have at least a Sport Pilot license to fly a Transition. The company is anticipating that the base price for one of these amazing, transforming, vehicles is going to be around $279,000.
At this moment, there is a backlog of orders for the Transition. This is either the first “flying car” that will be sold to the general public, or, it could be a functional version of those transformer toys we all played with when we were little kids. Either way, it’s still pretty exciting!