Flying car cleared for take-off

Perhaps the predictions from the mid 20th century about flying cars may become reality. (Or maybe not.) Regardless, the Terrafugia Transition has been approved as a “light sport aircraft” by the Federal Aviation Administration. The Telegraph gives some of the specs:

The two-seater Transition can use its front-wheel drive on roads at ordinary highway speeds, with wings folded, at a respectable 30 miles per gallon. Once it has arrived at a suitable take-off spot – an airport, or adequately sized piece of flat private land – it can fold down the wings, engage its rear-facing propellor, and take off. The folding wings are electrically powered.

Its cruising speed in the air is 115mph, it has a range of 460 miles, and it can carry 450lb. It requires a 1,700-foot (one-third of a mile) runway to take off and can fit in a standard garage.

The aircraft/car is expected to sell for just under $200,000 so it’s not exactly ready for the mass market. There are some suburban aircraft communities – they typically have houses surroundings runways so pilots can taxi their small planes right to their garage. But those communities still have regular aircraft, not a plane you could fly to your workplace and then drive to Wal-Mart. And just imagine skipping an interstate traffic jam by taking off.

Final question: does the Transition fit through a standard fast-food drive-through lane?