Finally! Flying Cars to Debut at New York International Auto Show



For more than a century, science fiction writers have been tormenting us with visions of flying machines that could be driven on roads as well as in air. A number of businesses have been pursuing this dream for a long time but none has taken off yet.

Now a Massachusetts-based company named Terrafugia has designed a flying car that will be displayed at the New York International Auto show in April this year. The car, technically called the Transition, has foldable wings which retracts when it is on the road. The Transition has a wingspan of 26 feet that tucks in and out with the push of a button, altering between a flying machine and a car within 30 seconds. With a full tank, the car can fly for 460 miles at the speed of 110 miles per hour.

Terrafugia has said that the car will be ready for sale by the end of the year. It is expected to sell for $279,000 and about 100 of the aircraft/car have already been booked.

The flying car has been cleared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for use on roads and granted it special exemptions as a roadable aircraft. The car has also been cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration for flight as a "light sport aircraft".


Terrafugia Inc. said extensive analysis and simulated crash testing are also being employed with industry partners to ensure that the Transition meets all other applicable crash safety standards. The NHTSA's exemptions allowed the roadable aircraft to use lightweight plastic windows and use a different type of tire than that used by other vehicles. In order to prevent shattering of the windshield in case of a bird-hit, Terrafugia used polycarbonate materials instead of automotive safety glass. The tires are heavier like any other small aircraft to handle landings as well as road driving.

"This is an aeroplane first and foremost. The idea is you can drive it to and from a regulation airport. Fully fueled, you can fly it for a range of 400 to 450 miles”, said Richard Gersh, VP Business Development of Terrafugia.

The 2012 New York International Auto Show will be held from April 6 through the 15th.












Sources: 1, 2

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  1. Many have been invented before, among them a very nice red prototype with 1 seat. They also had a 3-seat version. I saw it in 1998 as it was designed by 2 people I met who also had a hovercraft they let me drive and a couple of tiny cars they had featured in the Austin Powers movies. They brought a large truck full of interesting (and small) vehicles down to L.A. from N. CA & were meeting with actors to gain support to fight the "politics". I was dating an actor at the time and went along. Cops showed up as we were riding on streets in Marina Del Rey! They asked us to stop, then changed their mind and took rides instead! I don't know what happened to the 2 engineers but it seems that "politics" did stop them... Why not the guys above? They either ARE the politicians or let them in to invest or gave them stock... Just MHO.


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