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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Flying car approved for road use. Could this kind of vehicle take off for consumers?

It may drive like a car, but
it doesn't look like one.

I grew up reading my dad's Popular Mechanics magazines. It seemed that every third issue had an article in it about the next big thing- flying cars. The author would wax poetically about driving to the airport, deploying the wings and taking off  for a vacation in paradise. All at the touch of the proverbial button.

Well, it's fiction no longer. The Huffington Post is reporting that the National Highway Safety Administration has just given the green light for the Terrafugia Transition aircraft/car to legally roam across the highways and byways of the United States with all of the minivans, cars and trucks- just like the rest of us.

The Transition in flight. Is this
the next big thing?
(source: Terrafugia)

The Tansition keeps the wings folded up, origami style, against the side of the vehicle while driving on the road surface. Once at a location that's suitable for takeoff, the driver/pilot pushes a button and the wings slowly deploy until they lock into position for flight.

The dash looks pretty much like any car with the exception of a few additional gauges needed for flight. Along with the steering wheel is a typical pilot's control stick planted in the floor. The aircraft seats two and can fly 425 miles at 115mph in the air and still gets 35 MPG as a car.

Interested? The Transition will set you back a cool $250,000. Still interested? Then, you'll find more information at the Terrafugia site located here.

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