Flying car set to land at New York Auto Show, complete with hefty price tag

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Stick some wings on a car and it’s still a car, albeit one with wings attached. Before you can truly call a flying car a flying car, some brave soul has to be persuaded to climb inside and try flying it. If it gets off the ground, and returns safely, then we have ourselves a flying car.

It looks like the folks at Massachusetts-based Terrafugia Inc. have themselves a flying car. The company has completed the first test flight of the production prototype of its flying car, staying in the air for eight minutes at an altitude of 1,400 feet, the AP reported on Monday.

Terrafugia’s six-year flying car project has experienced a fair amount of turbulence along the way, with both legal and technical obstacles having threatened its development, but news of the successful test flight is a great leap forward.

The vehicle, which comprises two seats, four wheels and wings which fold up along its side, has already generated a great deal of interest among drivers/pilots.

The AP reports that so far about 100 people have put down a deposit of $10,000 for the Transition, though this figure is expected to jump when it’s shown off at the New York Auto Show later this week.

Terrafugia’s flying car, which comes with a $279,000 price tag, can reach speeds of around 70 mph on the ground and 115 mph in the air, and runs on unleaded automotive fuel. As a car, it can do 35 miles to the gallon, while off the ground it burns five gallons an hour.

To help make the Transition a reality, the company had to get permission from the government to use special lightweight tires and glass in its build. To fly it, pilots will need to pass a test and complete 20 hours of flying time.

Terrafugia’s chief test pilot Phil Meteer was understandably upbeat following his first experience in the Transition.

“It’s a remarkable vehicle both on the road and, now, in the air,” he said on the company’s website. “When I drove it into the shop, literally from the road through the garage door, I was amazed that I had just flown it at Plattsburgh a few days before.”

He added, “A long-overdue mode of transportation and fun is just around the corner.”

Check out the video below to see the Transition being driven out of a garage, filled up at a gas station and taking to the skies. The company hopes to begin delivering the flying car at the end of this year.

Showing 15 comments

  1. Robbie Semelmann 1 year Ago  
    Humans can barely handle road traffic, a flying car would be disastrous!
  2. James Carroll 1 year Ago  
    Flying car, aka AIRPLANE.
  3. Molief 2 years Ago  
    Its funny. at first, any idea of something flying with a human inside of it was called suicide. Today there are thousands of aircrafts in the sky. How do you think all these are monitored? Fear is an evil thing and most of us will die even before we learn what we are capable of. I think Jerry M Gartner has put it well. I must say, it sounds better that way.
  4. Ricky Melton 2 years Ago  
    Okay, all well and good, but with type of technology, and it has MANUAL MIRRORS!!!!!! C'Mon Man!!
  5. Robbie Semelmann 2 years Ago  
    Humans can barely handle road traffic, a flying car would be disastrous!
  6. Chonchistador 2 years Ago  
    Whoa, folks. Calm down. The article says PILOTS need to pass a test and log 20 hours to fly it, not crazy Fred from down the street. I think it's a great idea for an amateur pilot to be able to park their plane in their own garage rather than pay to store it in a hanger at the local airfield.
    1. Yeah, also the everyday people everyone is afraid of getting their hands on it...probably can't afford that price tag and the additional gas costs.

      Definitely a great thing for hobby pilots though, agreed.
  7. Todd Gross 2 years Ago  
    "where we are going... we don't need roads. "
  8. James Carroll 2 years Ago  
    Flying car, aka AIRPLANE.
  9. Brandon Beinker 2 years Ago  
    I can almost guarantee that no one will drive all the way to an airport to take off, probably just a country road lol.
    1. I guess if no one is looking why not. Would if you have enough land for a small airfield, then you are set.
  10. Subash Poudel 2 years Ago  
    I would never buy this car!
    That's because one the main focus of the tech companies now should be to save our mother nature.
    But this car burns even more fuel in air than in road.
    For this car to create a sensation the vendors must create a car which is more fuel efficient in air.
  11. jblippman 2 years Ago  
    Where do I vote against making this legal? I do not want someone with only TWENTY HOURS of practice flying this thing over my head, let alone hundres of someones.
  12. Jerry M Gartner 2 years Ago  
    It's not a flying car. It's an aircraft that can drive on streets and roads.
  13. Andrew64 2 years Ago  
    Just once could we make something stupid illegal before it becomes another dangerous unsustainable bubble; another trinket for the eccentric and loaded few? This civilization does not need cars that fly or cars that drive themselves. What we need is the opposite of the next fad and bubble. What we need is selflessness most of the times and not simply during the holidays.