Is it finally here? Are we to expect flying cars to become an everyday occurrence as some of the TV shows of our childhood used to portray? Guys from the US company Terrafugia have been going in that direction for a while now. So how ready is this flying car?
According to the presentation at the 2013 EAA AirVenture airshow in Wisconsin, where Terrafugia Transition was driven and flown by Phil Meteer, a test pilot and flight test coordinator, it is becoming increasingly more capable.
The Transition is a two seater that needs 30 seconds to transform from a rear wheel drive road vehicle, with the top speed of 70 mph, to a flying object, with top speed of 115 mph. While flying it consumes 5 gallons of fuel per hour, but on the ground its mpg is 35.
It is said that Terrafugia has performed extensive tests in order to make this vehicle mass-production ready and made numerous compromises regarding materials in order to provide the sturdiness required, but also reduce weight induced problems.
Due to the transformation features, the car’s dimensions vary. As a road vehicle it is 80 inches tall, 90 inches wide and 236 inches long. As an aircraft the height and the length are insignificantly different, but the wing span increases the width to 315 inches.
It is expected to be in production no sooner than in 2015, but the price of US$279,000 might present a bit of a problem. It also raises the issue of practicality. In order to drive it, you will need a pilot’s license, which is ok. But, any pilot will find this not very interesting to fly, since it is basically an underachieving aircraft that converts to a fairly bland and powerless car. Not the best of fun for pilots and drivers alike, and you will probably get more kicks out of driving a US$279,000 car that is bound to be very fun to drive and packed with luxury. However, this is just the beginning of this kind of mass-production technology, which actually makes this product great. It is bound to become a lot better as time goes by.
How serious these guys are we can see from the fact that they are planning to introduce a TF-X, a flying car for four people that can take off from a standstill, which greatly improves its practicality. Just imagine the jealous looks of the people around you as you slowly fly out of a huge traffic jam. The TF-X is said to become road ready in 12 years.[via] watch video below
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