But we're not talking about a flying car. The Transition is a "roadable aircraft." The team makes this distinction clear in conversation, on Terrafugia T-shirts, and in big, blue letters on the side of the trailer outside their shop.
The flying car has been a mainstay of our imagined transportation future for as long as there have been automobiles and airplanes: fanciful vehicles that promise to have us commuting like George Jetson. Scores of garage inventors have spent their lives creating detailed designs, scale models, even working prototypes. In the 1950s, Molt Taylor, a former Navy pilot, flew a few versions of his Aerocar, an plane/car hybrid that attached to a separate, towable set of wings and a tail. But he couldn't sign up enough customers to turn it into a business.
Now, the people who are closest to making that dream real—putting a car in the air, whatever they call it—are about the least starry-eyed folks you could meet. Terrafugia co-founder Carl Dietrich, 31, winces at that idea. "I'd hesitate to call any of us visionaries," he says. "We're engineers."
Unfortunately, that sober approach doesn't make their task any easier. Dietrich's team intends to manufacture and sell several hundred Transitions a year. That means doing things that no flying-car hopefuls before them ever have: Build an aircraft that can take potholes and protect its occupants if it slams into a brick wall at 30 miles an hour. Do it cheaply and reliably, again and again. Score passing grades from all those federal agencies. Find someone to insure it.
this article is good i liked reading it
the only thing i suggest is that if its a car and a plane you wanna get to the ground safely when you land so could you add a parrachute to the "car" for me/everyones safety please i give you guys 2 thumbs up for this "bringing it to life" i want one! lol if you ever need any help or invention ideas,feel free to call or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719 359 2376...have a great one...~David~
In my book THE MADHOUSE PROJECTS I wrote about a flying car that uses my injection reator, a compression-field jet engine, and a double-field motive system to help it levitate and displace the electromagnetic fields of the earth. It is shown on the cover.
When the car reached 500 mph on the Autobaun, the aircraft controls came out and the jet engine came to life. Little wings were extended to help the car fly. The main character flew the car around Europe and his workplace had to tell the air traffic control system that a UFO was on their radar screens and not a terrestrial craft. As "punishment," the man had to shut down a terrorist operation in Leipzig which was plotting to cause a meltdown at a nuclear power plant. Only someone driving and flying the car could eliminate the ones in the city and still reach the power plant before the terrorists out there could cause damage in the spent rod pool at the nuclear facilities.
In the future, if my double-field motive system works in which the motive field ionizes the air and surfaces and circulates in the direction and at the desired speed while displacing the electromagnetic fields of the earth with the repulsion field levitating the car, flying cars may become as common as Hummers and Jeeps. They would be the ultimate off-road vehicle since they don't require a road or even soild ground since they will be able to glide above the water like a hovercraft. Either my reactor or stacked flywheels may be required to generate the fields.
Seriously, how many people are going to be flying this within the next ten years?
The "flying car" idea sounds very dangerous. How are the going to monitor people to make sure we don't have another 9-11? Don't you think that it would be quite easy for some terrorist to ram that thing into the White House?
The real issue with these kinds of designs (which have been around for decades:
is that they end up costing more than a good car and a good plane (and that's better than having a lame car/plane rolled into one).
um i think i would like this to get me to and from school alot faster... cuz just think unless ur in a more wealthy area theres not gonna b to many flights going to ur house. also i have a question, what is the legal age gonna b to legaly fly on of these?
Many of your readers do not comprehend the Terrafugia Transition story. They have the misconception that the Transition will clog the airways and severely overload the air traffic control system. That could not be further from the truth. Let’s put it into perspective.
There are currently about 221,000 General Aviation aircraft based in the USA. Now keep in mind, GA does not include airliners. Over the next seven years Terrafugia hopes to sell about 1,000 roadable aircraft in the United States. General Aviation is projected to have very little growth in that time frame so essentially, if Terrafugia meets their plan of 1,000 units sold in this country, they will increase the total number of GA aircraft by less than ½ of one percent.
Let’s look at it another way. Only one of about every 220 airplanes in the sky will be a Transition. How many GA aircraft do you see in the air on an average day? I live about five miles from a relatively busy GA airport and probably see fewer than ten airplanes in the sky per day. At that rate I may see a Transition once every three or four weeks. Many of you will see even fewer than that. Clog the airways? Overload air traffic control? I think not.
The transition will be a great addition to General Aviation. I can’t wait to get mine!
great idea. it will be a good way to travel by flying in vfr conditions and driving in ifr conditions.
honestly a parrachute isn't going to do u much good, i would rather have a chance to glide to the ground instead of smashing straight down into the ground. they usually do more damage than good.
if i had the money i would order one.
You know something? I didn't think this was THAT bad of an idea at a first glance, but then I actually thought about it. I mean, this is totally unsafe. I agree with some posts about the 911 thing and all, yah, I'm finding it almost stupid that people are still trying for a car that flies. Another thing, I think that it wouldn't really help a traffic situation lets just say because think about it- the craze of a "flying car" would be HUGE! It would also get tougher to get a Pilots License. I don't think people would go another step further and like, provide i dont know.. SAFETY TRAINING! Like let's get real, I mean, for science class I have to design my own car that flies, I hate the idea! I think its totally unsafe. Some of the things I have for Concerns and such are:
CPU so you don't crash into buildings
Parachute (although i dont know how well that would work out..)
And some other stuff..haha, but my point is that people should spend like 10 more years and work out all the kinks. And one more thing.. I think that if there was a flying cars accident, it would also hurt people being safe on the road.
There are pros and cons to a lot of stuff, this one has DEFINETLY more cons..
Some snotty Brit named Mark Harris, writing for the TIMESONLINE just couldn't restrain his 'enthusiasm' for the new American product innovation:
"At the moment, though, Terrafugia’s car looks more like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang than The Jetsons. The prototype Transition has been made at Terrafugia’s small workshop in Woburn, Massachusetts, by a team of young engineers recruited from MIT and Nasa. The ungainly vehicle ... "
(see full article about the "ungainly ... Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/driving/features/article5483226.ece )
You are cordially invited to see my flying car project at
OBTW, contrary to Dietrich's comment that his is the first, I patented mine 37 years ago.
congrats, finally this project done. but not all people can drive the car. so, what license when driving it??
coooooool...A bit like a car model aircraft small.
Flyig car is the total magnet car.Future car is not jet car .Flying car used for the magnet and fly in the car air in the magnet used.Thank you
I have got to have one! I really don't like flying but they look so cool I would in one of them.
according to their site, this vehicle can be flown after only a twenty hour vehicle specific program. Yes, supposedly you are supposed to land and take off from airports, but I could see that being violated a heck of a lot. I mean, why would you want to land at a busy airport when you could theoretically land nearly anywhere? If you have a small airport near your home, maybe, but not in places where having the idea of a plane that can zip over traffic is useful. Lets be honest, the big brother government isn't going to let people have these, in large numbers, if it starts to become popular and affordable, they'll make sure it isn't. After all, the backpack helicopter from one of the Bond movies is real, and functional, but how many do you ever see? How many of those micro jets do you ever see?
The author compared the Terrafugia to the Cessna 152; would you spend $279,000 on a dual-purpose 152? i would love to have this, u can just fly if u've been in a hurry. i've seen the whole article here.