Skip to comments.Finally: The flying car arrives (And this time we mean it)
Posted on 04/03/2012 7:50:39 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
We've screamed for them for years. We've joked about it. We've featured them in auto insurance commercials. IBM was using the idea in their advertisements well over a decade ago. But now the flying cars are here.
Flying cars aren't just science fiction anymore.
Woburn, Mass.-based Terrafugia Inc. said Monday that its prototype flying car has completed its first flight, bringing the company closer to its goal of selling the flying car within the next year. The vehicle dubbed the Transition has two seats, four wheels and wings that fold up so it can be driven like a car. Last month, it flew at 1,400 feet for eight minutes.
Here's what it looks like in non-flying mode. It's not the size of your Hummer and you won't be taking the whole family out to Golden Corral, but it's still pretty cool.
The one big problem with the era of flying cars is that the fishbowl theory won’t work any more. One of the early assumptions in air travel was that the sky was so gosh darn big and there were so few planes, that the odds of running into each other were pretty low. That changed over time, but we also developed much better radar and air traffic control systems. Those are in place to track big planes at high altitudes, though. The tree-top skimmers still frequently rely on far more casual controls and the honor system. What happens if there are thousands of these taking wing over suburban communities?
Ah, never mind. We’re finally going to have flying cars. And at long last, we can answer this guy’s question.
There’s is no way anyone is going to be able to operate this thing unless they are issued an FAA pilot’s certificate.
I want one.
Nice, but I want one of these! The ATRAGON flying battleship/submarine!
Exactly. They will need an FAA license and a regular drivers license.
it looks more like a rolling airplane.
What’s the penalty for flying and texting?
I believe they managed something like 7 mins at 1400 feet. This ain’t going to sell much and sure isn’t the answer to a commute
It’s only 29 grand more than what it cost to build a Chevy Volt. $279 grand for the flying car, $250,000 cost to build a Volt.
Problem is that this is not a car but a plane with folding wings. But being able to move the thing on the streets and being able to store it in a garage instead of a hanger are distinct advantages.
There’s enough idiots on the road, I don’t want them OVER my house.
Meh. This one is a heck of a lot better and looks to be considerably more fun and with greater range:
It still requires a pilots license although it will qualify to be flown with a sport pilots license.
Personally for less than twice the price I will take a lansair 4P, presurised 4 place, 29,000 service ceiling, 335 miles an hour cruise, and a 1,400 mile range!
To quote the late Robert Anson Heinlein, "Stupidity is the only universal capital crime. The sentence is automatic, and is carried out without mercy or pity. There is no appeal," so, one could safely assume, death...
The company is out of Woburn,Mass. I had jury duty today in Woburn,Mass. I like to think I had a little part to play in the whole thing.
Flying cars have been Just Around the Corner now for about 60 years. This one appears about as credible as the rest. Which is not credible at all. And what's the market for such a thing? Who is going to drive a quarter million dollar tiny-wheeled fragile light (bumpers? DOT?) machine like this on a real street with pot holes and traffic? And why? Just for the privilege of having a low-performance overweight small plane under ones butt, instead of a real plane on the apron? And at the destination? Need a car? Rent a real one.
Can someone explain the means of propulsion for this carplane?
Get just ONE case of terrorists even talking about using these and they will never leave the ground, or the warehouse.
I believe it is a gas engine using premium unleaded to drive the rear wheels in car mode and the prop in airplane mode.
That is incredibly cool ! Where did those pics come from ? Is there a site with proposed specs ?
That and the possibility of engine failure.
That is just plain ugly!
Same old thing. Yawn.
Heck, they can’t even make a vehicle that can drive efficiently in the city and on highways.
Even if they could make a flying car, it might not be welcome in the air or on roads.
The Segway was going to be huge, until they realized it was to fast and heavy for pedestrian paths, and two light and slow for streets. Now it is used for novelty.
The next step in people transportation will be pods that get you to a break-in-bulk hub, and fit together in larger, faster omnibi. Think shipping container.
People don’t take care of their vehicles as it presently stands - I can’t imagine a world with planes falling out of the sky routinely.
definite C.G. problems there
It’s bad enough seeing the carnage on our nation’s highways. Can you imagine the same stupid drivers flying over our homes too? I live not too far from an interstate highway. I would never feel safe in my home again as I would have to worry constantly about some drunken idiot falling out of the sky and landing in my bedroom.
>>That is incredibly cool!
>>Where did those pics come from?
>>Is there a site with proposed specs?
>>definite C.G. problems there
I don’t think that one was for real. :)
C.G. = Control and Guidance?
Centre of Gravity. All the weight is ahead of the lifting surfaces.
I didn’t see a Prop and I did not see any jets, why I asked.
Looks like the engine, prop, and fuel tanks are all aft of the main wing.
Join the ¼chord, one-third span points (to get approx centre of lift); it's only the prop.
Still just a concept, looks like. The structure looks a little flimsy to support the rear wheels/props. And I don’t see how it can make the transition from road to flight. With the wings horizontal and the wheels outboard as pusher props, it has no landing gear to keep it up off the road surface during takeoff and landing.
What the heck, it's a start......Vertical and horizontal thrusters will eventually surpass the propeller.
Did you look at the pictures of it in flight ? The leading edge of the wing is in line with the rear of the pilot seat, true, but there is a back seat as well, and that places the engine almost at the trailing edge of the wing. I think the fuel tanks are actually in the rear struts. And depending on whether the front or rear wheels are driven in ground mode, that could place even more weight in the rear struts.
LOL. My bad.
I’ve sometimes thought the more recent Lambos could be a decent lifting body portion of a Burnelli aircar design, but not the Countach.