I always wanted a flying car. All my childhood fantasies included them. Now Terrafugia has built a prototype, and its Phase One flight testing – conducted in June 2012 at Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, NY – is said to be a success. The only surprise to me was that it looked … well … like a small airplane. For some reason, in my fantasies, flying cars didn’t need wings. But okay, it’s also road-worthy and runs on unleaded gas. When can I get one?
Terrafugia has been developing its light sport, roadable airplane since 2006. It has a flight range of 425 nautical miles (489 miles or 787 kilometers). Its cruising flight speed of 93 knots (107 mph; 172 km/h).
The June 2012 testing at Plattsburgh International Airport was the first of six phases of flight testing for the flying car.
On the road, the Terrafugia Transition can drive up to 70 miles per hour (110 km/h).
It can run on automotive premium grade unleaded gasoline. Imagine driving this baby into a gas station?
Take me with you!
According to Gizmag, the first customer delivery of the Terrafugia Transition should happen in late 2012. Predictably, the price has climbed during this development and testing phase. The original estimate was US$148,000. Now it’s US$279,000. Not exactly in my price range. A step in the direction toward flying cars for the middle class?
Bottom line: A prototype for a flying car – the Terrafugia Transition – has successfully completed its phase one flight testing. Terrafugia says the first customer delivery of this light sport, roadable airplane should be by late 2012.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.