We’re in love with the idea of flying cars, and we’re still pissed off at Popular Science, who told us we’d all have one by the year 2000. If you’ve got sufficient funds and a Sport Pilot license, you’ll be able to buy one in the form of the Terrafugia Transition beginning next year. Prices start at $194,000, which isn’t cheap, but is on par with pricing for other small, recreational aircraft. The advantage of the Terrafugia is that you can drive it to and from the airport, as long as the airport is within a reasonable distance of your house. Judging from the pictures of the Flying Car in the ground configuration, strong crosswinds would also be a very, very bad thing.
The Transition is powered by a Rotax engine capable of a 105 mile per hour cruising speed while airborne, and it has a range of 490 miles in the air. I couldn’t find a reference to top speed on the ground, but the Transition is rear wheel drive, via a continuously variable transmission, and claims fuel economy of 35 mph at 65 miles per hour. Since the Transition is designed to run on pump gas, you don’t need to worry about finding airports for refueling.
Conversion from flight mode to driving mode is said to take just 30 seconds, and the Transition will hold up to 460 pounds of passengers and cargo. If you’re interested, Terrafugia is now taking $10,000 deposits on the Transition, so get in touch with them soon if you want to be the first flying car owner on your block.