Terrafugia‘s street (and air) legal flying car, appropriately named Transition, has literally spread its wings for the public during a test run during the July 2013 AirVenture Air Show in Oshkosh. The craft is not only futuristic but also efficient: now drivers can bypass traffic and save time with direct routes between over 5,000 airports around the U.S.
The company’s goal is to bring freedom, flexibility and convenience to a wider range of people through personal aviation. Around the same cost as an exotic sports car, Transition is designed to be used primarily in the air with the convenience of driving straight from your home to the airport for takeoff. Of course the vehicle can be driven to your destination, but with the exception of inclement weather, why drive when you can soar through the clouds?
Inside Transition’s 2-seater cockpit lies the typical components of a car: a steering wheel, gas pedal and brake pedal. When you are ready to fly, just switch over to the stick and rudder pedals. The vehicle’s engine powers both the propeller during flight and the rear wheels when driving and runs on premium automotive gasoline. Converting between flight and drive modes is quick and easy as the wings fold up with the push of a button, and after returning from an excursion, the vehicle can be safely parked in a standard one car garage.
With the challenge of balancing requirements from both the FAA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Transition has been through many flight and road tests and satisfied all safety regulations. The vehicle is equipped with automotive crash safety features as well as a parachute for flight emergencies.
A final version of the craft is being developed that will be begin production in 2015. Enthusiasts are already placing their reservations and will have their own personal aircraft parked in their garages by 2016.