I want one

From FNC comes this great story.

Terrafugia Flying Car Cleared for Landing in US

A flying car retailing for $227,000 could be on roads in a matter of months — and customers are already lining up to be the first to get their hands on one, its maker claims.

Just over a week ago, the Terrafugia Transition passed a significant milestone when it was cleared for takeoff by the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration. It’s taken Terrafugia founder Carl Dietrich just five years to realize his dream, with some media outlets reporting that the Transition could now be on U.S. roads by the end of next year.

Last year, the project was headed for trouble after authorities demanded design changes costing Terrafugia somewhere in the order of $18 million.

Fortunately, Dietrich’s company then won a $60 million contract with the Defense Department to develop a flying Humvee.

Despite the fact the price of a single vehicle has been pushed to about $230,000 from the starting order price of $170,000, up to 100 customers have already paid a $10,000 deposit for a Transition.

The next stage for Terrafugia is global domination, with the first stop outside the U.S. being Europe.

The Civil Aviation Authority told the UK’s Daily Mail that the U.S. clearance meant it would be “relatively easy” for the Transition to get clearance from the European Safety Agency, based in Cologne.

“The bulk of the work has already been done in the U.S.,” said Jonathan Nicholson, of Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority. “Safety standards are very similar between there and Europe.”

Terrafugia says more than 20 Britons have already expressed interest in owning a Transition.

The two-seat plane is made of carbon-fiber and aimed primarily at the U.S.’s 600-strong “fly-in” communities. It can lift off from almost any long straight road and, once in the air, has a top speed of 115 mph.

On landing, its wings fold up in 15 seconds, with power then routed to the rear wheels, giving it a top land speed of 62 mph and size dimensions equivalent to a large sedan.

“It’s like a little Transformer,” Mr Dietrich said.

The Transition will be available to those with a light-aircraft license and requires as little as 20 hours of training to fly.

I am not sure how to add this to my amazon.com wishlist.

Seriously, I admire the ingenuity of some entrepreneurs.  These guys figured out how to make this thing and then figured out how to get it approved by the feds.

In a way, since this story came on the day the last Space Shuttle landed, I find this thing consoling.  Private industry, entrepreneurs.  Where would we be without them?

Still, this thing would be a lot of fun.

UPDATE:

Now that I am thinking about this…

Where’s my jet pack?

It’s the 21st century and its about time we have jet packs!

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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21 Responses to I want one

  1. AnAmericanMother says:

    Had my fixed wing single engine private license since 1972. This is one of those ideas that sounds clever but isn’t going to work very well.
    Just about any “long straight road” is festooned with power lines, bane of small aircraft and completely invisible from the air. It’s going to be transport to and from the airport, that’s all.
    115 mph is s-l-o-w. The Cessna 150 I learned in had a claimed airspeed at cruise of 105 kts, but the only way you could get that was straight down. About the only thing slower is a Piper Cub. And on long flights when I hit a headwind, the traffic on the interstate was passing me.
    My dad’s solution to lack of transport on the arrival end was a fold up motor scooter in the baggage area of his 210. Much cheaper than a compromise that won’t do anything well.

  2. weneleh says:

    Well, where is your PayPal button so we can donate? Sounds like a mighty fine cause.

  3. JohnE says:

    I hope it comes with RV hookups, a kitchen, and sleeps 4, because for $227,000 it would have to be our next home as well.

  4. albizzi says:

    Looks like a low performance car and a low performance aircraft.
    Is it authorized to take off from a highway? Certainly not.
    I cannot imagine buying one unless as a gadget, if I was much richer.

  5. Fr Levi says:

    I’m sure you don’t have the money, & it’s not exactly something you can put on your Amazon wish list, but I understand a gentleman by the name of John Corapi has lots of money & might be sympathetic to funding the needs of poor priests …

  6. Legisperitus says:

    All well and good, but the time I always wish for a flying car is during a traffic jam, where this little number would be of no use at all. Bring on the hoverconverters!

  7. Bill Strom says:

    The “Maverick” is the poor man’s version and seems to be safer to fly since it is already a parachute!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBR1RLpenMo

  8. “Looks like a low performance car and a low performance aircraft.”

    People knowledgeable in the industry have said that as well, and that for the cost of one (nearly $300K), you could buy a low-end Cessna AND a new car sitting at each of your several destinations. I don’t think that will dissuade people though. Frankly, it’s the twenty-first century, and I for one am getting tired of waiting to own a flying car. I mean, duuuude …

  9. Father Z:
    It would seem that Amazon indeed sells everything, including flying cars!
    http://www.amazon.com/LEGO-Harry-Potter-Escape-Privet/dp/B0000649DP

    So put it on your wish list, and after you get it, you can use the Z-cam to show us how well it flies!
    Like so!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtzQp9aphpI&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7idAVcssuY&feature=related

  10. ContraMundum says:

    As for me, I want antigravity boots, preferably with a gravity option in case I need to use them in space.

  11. abasham says:

    We have the jet pack, too, father! Unfortunately we Americans were beaten to it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G52eJwzVpI

    We’re almost to the future!

  12. Christopher says:

    Flying cars? Jetpacks? Teleportation is better…

  13. TravelerWithChrist says:

    My 10-yr old daughter always wishes for a flying car (just for us, of course) each time we get on the road, so that we could skip over all of the traffic in Dallas. I think I hear it several times each week.
    I can’t wait to show her the pictures!!! (though it doesn’t look like it’s made for big families:) And it looks like it needs more runway space that a bumper’s length…

  14. Tantum Ergo says:

    Oh Father, jet packs are so 1990′s… What you need is a matter/anti-matter anti-gravity device like Kirk and McCoy used to decommission Nomad just before it got beamed into space and went kablooey! If you don’t want to use it for your own locomotion (it’s quite versatile, I’m told,) I’ll bet you could think of someone you’d like to latch it on to, beam into space and then go kablooey!
    The only problem is that there are soooo many candidates who need to go kablooey, and those devices have got to be expensive…

  15. pseudomodo says:

    Forget teleportation…

    Bilocation….

  16. catholicmidwest says:

    $227,000! Gah.

  17. Art says:

    Boy, I’d love to be part of the engineering team that builds something like that. Too bad they’re only hiring US persons only though, otherwise I would apply in a heartbeat!

  18. Patti Day says:

    I’ll take two.

  19. sejoga says:

    I know people keep mentioning that it looks like a low end car / low end aircraft, and costs more than both, but the whole point of people buying things like this is that it stimulates further development, it creates a market for people to test out the product, etc., etc., so that perhaps, one day, it might be much higher quality flying cars “on the road” for a lot less money.

    Let’s not forget that it was only about twenty years ago that a cellphone would cost about $4,000 and people had to carry them around in their briefcase because they were so large and clunky, and people had to tilt their head just right and scream into the receiver just to talk on them. People probably thought they were dumb for investing in a piece of junk… but now you can buy a phone for a tenth of that price and surf the net, play games, make videos, and, sometimes, even talk on them.