The boundless imagination of post-war American car design has long been on display at the AirVenture museum in the form of the 1949 Aerocar. But as of Monday, flying cars became a bit more relevant when the long-delayed, street-legal Terrafugia Transition took off and flew in public for the first time, reports the Journal Sentinel.

It was the first day of the EAA AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, an international event where the newest in aviation technology is often unveiled. The Transition took off, flew smoothly and circled around the airfield for the public audience, and the low-speed landing looked especially drama-free, with all four of the flying car's wheels touching the ground at the same time. After landing, the pilot parked for a minute to show off a crucial feature: motorized self-folding wings. The pilot/driver can fold the wings up after a flight and be ready for street driving without ever having to get out of the vehicle. The vintage Aerocar, on the other hand, had removable wings that had to be towed when it was driven on the street.

While everything seemed to go as planned for the Transition, at the 31-second mark in the first video we noticed that the wings didn't fold up at the same speed, which has us questioning the effectiveness of the prototype's wing-folding mechanism. It's a good thing that this is the second of three generations of prototypes, so Terrafugia has plenty of time to iron out the details.

Look for the Transition to go on sale in 2015 or 2016 with a projected price tag of $279,000. The company is taking $10,000 refundable deposits now, the Journal Sentinel reports, and over 100 people have already reserved their own flying car. Check the takeoff, flight and landing in the videos below.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      Stang70Fastback
      • 1 Year Ago
      With regards to the wings folding unevenly, if you pay attention to the start of the video, you'll notice that this is the result of the folding process starting 2-3 seconds later on the left wing as opposed to the right. They actually fold at about the same speed.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      One of these days I want to go to Oshkosh for the show.
      A_Guy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Look a plane that folds up it's wings. OMG FLYING CARS
      mawhalen53
      • 1 Year Ago
      I commend the engineering effort and the dedication to this project. It's been in the news for ages and it just keeps chugging. But at the end of the day I can't shake the question: "Why?"
      bonehead
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hate to break it to you, but that's not a flying car. That is a driving plane.
      Jason
      • 1 Year Ago
      People have enough problems with a 2D driving format, you know left right, add 3D in there Up and Down, we're all screwed.
        methos1999
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jason
        Given it's expected to cost $279k, I wouldn't worry about the idiots you see on most roads getting into one of these - no, it's the people who have more money than brains that will be crashing these (much like the same ones that crash their supercars).
        mrpinto
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jason
        We're not talking about folks with driver's licenses. We're talking about folks with a Pilot's license. You know, something that takes more effort to earn than filling in a 20 question quiz at the DMV.
      Egon
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm sure the dorks at Popular Science are shedding tears of joy and squealing like little girls.
      sp33dklz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Doesn't look that stable. It's ok, I just wonder who will be the first rich idiot to end up on the news dead, after crashing their private Terrafugia plane.
      muchmaligned
      • 1 Year Ago
      I see all the comments thus far are from know-nothing know-it-alls. Well done, serfs!
      Robert Fahey
      • 1 Year Ago
      Pretty bad blind spot for driving. In fact, everything but straight ahead is a blind spot unless I'm missing something.
      jbm0866
      • 1 Year Ago
      Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of flying cars as much as any kid who thought it would be reality by the time we were adults....but how is that thing anything but a plane with folding wings? As with all other flying car designs, it isn't a good car or airplane. (and looks equally dangerous no matter which configuration)
      Ducman69
      • 1 Year Ago
      This won't make a good aircraft or car, I can't imagine who is going to insure this (Geico will laugh at you and Aviation insurance companies won't want to take on the much higher risk of damage that a road vehicle entails, remember a 5mph fender bender to a mass produced Camaro is a lot cheaper to fix than an airplane for which a few hundred are made) and it'll likely be so expensive that the people that can afford to buy it can also surely afford to pick up a rental car at the airport. Much better are all the kit planes with folding wings that are designed to be towed behind a pickup truck to store in your garage. They are lightweight and generally fit the rules for light sport aircraft, making getting a license for one easier and cheaper with no constant medicals needed. These can also never hope to go mainstream with the average person until takeoff and landing are automated under flight-tower control and we have enhanced reality HUDs that show "sky lanes" that you can fly through to simplify navigating airspace (which right now even with a GPS is quite complicated). A full pilots license is also very time consuming and extremely expensive, and far too nerve wracking for most (forget to say something or make a slight mistake and the tower WILL be very angry and you can lose your license)... or your life.
        Ducman69
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ducman69
        Another problem is that those little aviation tires are likely going to be very expensive to replace and would wear out quickly if driven much on the roads at speed. And without any bumpers, forget my 5mph comment, even a 2mph impact is likely to cause tremendous damage. Automatic folding wings are likely quite heavy, which will make the aircraft perform poorly in the air. But its still likely to be very light by car standards yet that huge flat surface on the side is likely to make crosswinds very scary on the highway.
          Timbo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ducman69
          This isn't designed to be a car you dive across country or use as your daily driver. It is simply a means of driving your plane from your home to your local air strip. It is a plane for the most part. Amidst all your negativity, you bring up some valid points. You, however, fail to acknowledge how cool this idea really is. Let's be real, if you could afford a plane like that then yeah you would be better off getting an icon A5 for half the price and almost just as much versatility. However this is their first model and as this idea progresses the performance gap between in choosing either a car or a plane could become smaller. I am curious as to the range on this plane.
        graphikzking
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ducman69
        What about people that have a "vacation" mountain house about 100 miles away. On a Friday afternoon I'd much rather fly for 1 hour to my house than drive 2.5 hours. Every airport is at least 15 minutes away plus another 1 hour minimum weight even if it's a private flight etc. I guess you could have your own plane at the local airport but I'm wondering what the take-off and landing regulations are?
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