Aviation has had a relatively short history – it was only just over 100 years ago the Wright Brothers first took flight in 1903. And within that amount of time, we’ve been able to make a huge amount of progress, with flying becoming a normal part of life.
But people aren’t satisfied with flying just for a vacation or business trip. Some want to avoid the congestion on the roads and use flight for their everyday commute. That’s why the flying car has been a reoccurring fantasy for many years, with high-tech flying cars appearing many sci-fi and futuristic films.
However, the flying car may not be as far away as some may think. Boston based company, Terrafugia, says their first flying car model, the Transition, should be available commercially in 2016.
Yes, you read that right – you could possibly own a flying car next year!
Carl Dietrich, the chief executive behind Terrafugia, explains how he wants to transform personal transportation and offer the public the chance to fly to where they need to go with minimal tuition. And his team has spent the past seven years developing the Transition, holding a public demonstration in 2013 at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh air show.
The Transition is a street-legal airplane that converts between flying and driving modes. Categorized as a light sports plane by the FAA, the Transition can carry two people, including the pilot, plus luggage and can fit in a standard single car garage at home.
However, the Transition does need a runway in order to fly, which makes the convenience factor of this flying car a little less practical. However Terrafugia is already on it with their TF-X model. While still in the design phase, the TF-X will be able to takeoff vertically, making it a true door-to-door convenient flying car.
Terrafugia isn’t the only company close to creating a flying car though – the AeroMobil was recently finalized and has been in regular flight-testing in real conditions since October 2014. With similar capabilities to the Transition, the AeroMobil can use any airport in the world, but it can also take off and land using any grass strip or paved surface just a few hundred feet long, making it slightly more convenient than the Transition.
Either way, it seems that the future of aviation is changing, as both aviation and automotive combine to provide us with the first flying car of our dreams. Would you buy a flying car? How do you think the introduction of flying cars will affect both the automotive and aviation industries?
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