They promised it in the 90’s, but it never happened. They promised again by 2006 – again, no dice. Finally, as of the summer of 2011, the first promising air/land vehicle – the Transition Flying Car by Terrafugia – is almost ready to takeoff.
The Transition is still a few years from being mass marketed, pending issues such as the lack of USDOT-mandated airbags, crash-resistant glass, and a steep price. However, it’s the biggest leap in land/air hybrid travel thus far. In addition to the “stow-and-go”-style wings that fold neatly while on the gravel, the Transition boasts an air range of 500 miles, can take flight with only a 518m runway, and cruises the skies at 105mph (93kts/172 km/h).
Other kick-ass features include:
- A cargo area for all your nicknacks (groceries, perhaps?)
- A 100hp Rotax engine (red light challenges not recommended, :-D)
- A full-body parachute and safety glass
Two of the last hurdles for its engineers? Raising the maximum cargo weight higher than (only) 330lbs and dropping its quarter-of-a-million dollar price tag…