Terrafugia Transition – Click above for high-res image gallery

Surely, you're familiar with the Jetsons, the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon world from the 1960s that was said to take place in the year 2062. Too futuristic for your blood? How about Ridley's Scott's Blade Runner, which starred Harrison Ford and was supposed to show life in the year 2019? And then there's Back to the Future II, which is even closer to our modern day, depicting life at 2015.

What's the constant in all of these retro-futuristic takes on what tomorrow may hold? Hoverboards. Flying cars. We're not sure about you, but we don't see no stinkin' flying cars floating down our streets. So, what gives? Besides reality, of course. Well... actually, reality is the key. The problem with flying cars from 50 years ago all the way until today remains the same: because the machine needs to operate just as capably in the sky as on the ground, compromises have to be made.

Compromises don't exactly equal success in the automotive or airplane marketplace. To meet government regulations, an automobile must pass a stringent series of safety and environmental tests, and the same is true for airplanes. Needless to say, then, combining the two is pretty darn difficult to accomplish. That said, Popular Mechanics has found reason to be excited about the prospect of the Terrafugia flying car. If that's a topic that interests you, we suggest you click here to read all about it.

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