We're trying to figure out how the term "range anxiety" will apply to the Terrafugia TF-X flying car. Is it going to be applicable to the pilot or to others in the sky? The reason we ask is because the vehicle is a plug-in hybrid, so those batteries better well be charged up. But, according to the potential manufacturer, flying the vehicle will require only five hours of training, so getting too close could produce a different kind of anxiety.
Flying car concept 40 years in the making to take flight
It's 2013. We're living in the future, but where are all the flying cars? One inventor says he's received FAA approval to begin testing his flying car, another step towards making flying cars a reality.
How close does the Terrafugia Transition come to fulfilling the Jetsonian promise of a flying car? To Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich's own admission, "we usually think of it more as an airplane that has the added capability of driving." Still, the Transition is unlike anything else in the sky or on the road, even if it's not exactly the futuristic flying car that Hanna-Barbera imagined back in the 1960s.
It was only a month ago when Terrafugia took its Transition flying car (or driving plane, as CEO Carl Dietrich says) to the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for some exposure and its first public flight demonstration. We know the flight was a success, but Translogic was also there to get an inside look at the street-legal flying machine and capture it on video.
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's hard to forget a company like Terrafugia – mostly because it won't let us. Every six months or so, the Massachusetts-based self-proclaimed aerospace company makes headlines with a flying car concept. It's first attempt, called the Transition, was a folding low-wing propeller-driven pusher aircraft with a water-cooled combustion engine. Despite its ungainliness, it has flown, but only in prototype form, and despite its long gestation period and a reported 100 reservations on the books,
One of the idiosyncratic stars of the 2012 New York Auto Show, just about one year ago, was the Terrafugia Transition. Proposing to bring the long-dreamed-of flying car to the masses – well, "masses" of people that can pick up a $279,000 check, at any rate – news about the Terrafugia has been pretty thin in the intervening 12 months. The good news, we hear, is that the paucity of press releases has been a result of the company working hard on bringing the Transition to market.
The Terrafugia Transition stands out from all the other vehicles on display at the New York Auto Show, not because it's the prettiest, or even the fastest. It is neither. It is, however, the only piece of road-going machinery in the Jacob Javits Center sporting a propeller and a pair of wings. And that's because it flies.
Visitors to the New York Auto Show will be able to take a closer look at the Terrafugia Transition 'Flying Car,' just days after the company's prototype made its first flight. The two-place airworthy machine is perhaps best considered a roadgoing low-wing aircraft (not a 'flying car'), as its technical specifications are anything but earthly.
A little over a year ago we reported on the Jetsons-esque Terrafugia Transition flying car. Back in June 2010, the vehicle had just gotten past an important FAA regulatory hurdle that allowed it to be certified in the Light Sports Aircraft category. This was a big deal, no question, but for the past year the law has actually permitted only half of the Terrafugia's function.
The plane/car wasn't able to adhere to some of the standard safety requirements mandated by the Department of Transportati
Terrafugia has moved one step closer to bringing the world a flying "car". The Department of Transportation has granted the company a host of exemptions needed to get the Terrafugia Transition ready for the road. The plane/car-hybrid already employs a gaggle of automotive crash technology, such as crumple zones and airbags, but it needed help moving past a few of the standard car requirements that just don't work for something with wings.
The obvious glib commentary here would invoke Optimus Prime, or something. Instead, we're going to digress momentarily and say that the best kind of transformer involves an LP record and an SL1200. Either way, DARPA has its own transforming going on. The Pentagon's latest initiative has been dubbed Transformer, and it aims to make the prognostications of 1955 come true - flying cars and all. (Bonus points for DARPA if they can get them to fold up neatly into briefcases.)