The First Flying car of the world might not have crashed during its test flight but, it crashed the common man’s imagination of smoothly taking off of the traffic on a busy road.
Transition, World’s first flying car designed by Aviation Company Terrafugia took a successful test flight of 8 minutes at a height of 1400 feet on March 23 2012. While the four-seater can just fold its wings to be driven on roads safely, it needs a runway to take off and land and cannot just hover off from the road while you are stuck in the traffic. The company envisions designing flying cars in future that would be able to take off, fly and land by themselves to make flying safer and more accessible.
Sounds all Fancy, But what’s in store for us?
More than 100 people have already booked the Transition paying $10,000 a piece. The on road/in air price of the vehicle is about $279,000 and it gives an economy of 5 gallons per hour in air and 35miles per gallon on road at a speed of 100 miles per hour. The owner of Transition would need to pass a 20 hours flying test to be able to take-off or land the vehicle on any of the 5,200 public airports in the United States.
Where is Transition's Future heading?
Further improvements are being implemented on transition to make it a safer vehicle to train sports pilot for some real commercial flying. The system of the car takes over the pilot’s control under bad condition, which is much safer than risking a crash or aborting the flight in mid-air."The evolution in the Transition is going to come in the capability of the electronics and autopilot. Everybody has heard of the Google (driverless) car. The technology is there to make an airplane that can virtually fly itself” as said by Cliff Allen, VP of Terrafugia to MSNBC. This implies that Allen and team have decided to rather produce a ‘Street Legal Airplane ‘than follow the laymen’s imagination of a sci-fi hover-craft.
Terrafugia’s achievements are coming handy for the U.S Military projects as well, who are planning to develop “Flying Humvees”. The Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) is already working on the project that would allow soldiers to take off from the land, fly to their battle fields and land on any kind of terrain to continue driving the Humvee like any SUV.
It all sums up to hell of a compromise but you can fly your own car with pride.