Do you ever watch a James Bond film and feel a tinge of jealousy as he maneuvers one of his high tech, high fantasy transportation devices? Well, a small engineering company with big ideas, may allow you to be just like 007.
Terrafugia, introduces the flying car. Founded in 2006 by MIT-trained aeronautical engineers and located just outside Boston, Massachusetts this company has been working on a unique prototype they call the Transition.
The Terrafugia Transition is a two-seater plane that with only a touch of a button, folds up its wings and turns into a car. The vehicle has a single engine and a 100bhp motor, which directs both the wheels of the car and the rear-facing propeller of the plane. Its wings fold and extend within 3 minutes from inside the cockpit and as a car, it has all the normal necessities-steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedals.
The Transition is powered by a certified aircraft engine, but uniquely runs on unleaded automotive gas. It can take off from any airfield, however not from roads as this is illegal in the US. The Transition can fly up to 500 miles on a single tank of petrol and can reach a cruising speed of 115mph. In staying true to its Bond-esque design, it remains discreet being able to fit neatly in any standard garage when in car form.
How can you get your hands on one? For starters, you need $200,000 next you need a sports pilot's license which can be obtained after only 20 hours of training and certification by the American Federal Aviation Authority. The main obstacle preventing this flying car from becoming part of your collection is that it's still in testing phase. The Transition was presented to the EAA Airventure in July 2008 with a completed proof of concept. Once construction testing and certification of the production prototype is accomplished, it can be insured and will be ready for public purchase.
Terrafugia already has pre-orders in place for its aircraft. Customer delivery is slated for 2010, which means you are that much closer to becoming Bond. Until then? Take small steps, perhaps a martini-shaken.
For more information on the company and to reserve a Terrafugia Transition, visit www.terrafugia.com
Owner, Yoga Life