If you’ve ever been stuck in traffic or a super-long line at airport security and wished there were an alternative, get a load of this: the world’s first flying car successfully completed a flight test two weeks ago — and in just a year’s time, you could be the proud owner of one.
According to Yahoo!, the Transition, a two-seater vehicle designed by Massachusetts-based Terrafugia, Inc., runs on regular unleaded gasoline and gets about 35 miles to the gallon on land, where it can reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. In the air, it will reach altitudes of 1,400 feet — much lower than commercial planes — and travel at about 115 m.p.h. At the end of the day, the driver can land it, retract its wings and park it in the garage. See the Transition in action in the video below:
About 100 people have already put down deposits, but, with a price tag expected to reach nearly $300,000, we wonder just how big (or small) the market will be. Operation of the flying car as a plane requires owners to pass a test and clock 20 hours of in-flight training time, which really isn’t much. In our opinion, it sure beats a full-body scan.
Some things to consider: Although the Transition is fun and quirky and would likely make Inspector Gadget jealous, it won’t get you out of that aforementioned traffic jam since it requires space to extend its wings and take off. Nor will it be a plausible alternative for long-haul commercial flights; it can only fly a few hundred miles before you’ll have to stop and refuel.
Plus we think it raises safety concerns. Imagine “pilots” literally jetting around their suburban neighborhoods simply because they have enough room and low-lying airspace to do so. (We can just see 16-year-old Junior borrowing the keys and getting stuck in the power lines.) And the Transition still has to finish a series of crash safety tests before the federal government can attest that it’s up to the standards of other vehicles on the road.
So what do you think? Would you buy one if you had the funds? Would you use it in lieu of taking commercial flights? Would you be comfortable with your neighbors owning one? Share your thoughts below.
— written by Ashley Kosciolek