Want a flying car? The Future is getting closer.

13 year-old me is psyched right now. Terrafugia Inc, a company based in Woburn, Massachusetts, has received specific exemptions from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration allowing them to continue to develop their “Transition” vehicle, which (appropriately) transitions from plane to car and back again.

The exemptions it has received are specific to vehicles which drive on roads and are capable of flight, which means flying car. They allow for plastic windshields instead of glass, and special tires.  The glass replacement is a weight-cutting measure, since a small plane has a very small weight limit, and the tires are specifically designed to handle the stresses of landings, but are otherwise not approved for road use.

Other rule-bending comes from the FAA, which granted a Light Sports Aircraft label, even though the plane weighs 110 lbs more than is typically allowable for that classification. This classification means that the pilots would only require a Sport Pilot certification, a level created in 2004 in order to make non-commercial aviation more easily accessible – a sure selling point for the aircraft.

Of course, this is just a pipe dream, right?  Well, according to the company, the Transition is expected to be delivered late next year.


Sources :

Wall Street Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2011/07/05/flying-car-maker-gets-regulatory-clearance/?mod=wsj_share_reddit
Terrafugia: http://www.terrafugia.com/

7 thoughts on “Want a flying car? The Future is getting closer.

  1. It is very cramped to sit in and very limited for weight…not so much a car as a flying enclosed motorcycle.  One passenger and a max takeoff weight of around 350 Lbs with a full load of fuel. 

    It is really bizarre to see in person and even stranger to sit in. It just feels wrong.

    1. Thanks to the Aircraft rating it got, it can only hold two people. The sport pilot cert also limits the pilot to only one passenger. But it’s a start, and that’s what’s important. I’m glad the FAA and NHTSA were open-minded enough to let this baby grow.

      1. I’ll get ya some picture in a two weeks and some answers, as I will be seeing it, again in Oshkosh.

        If you are a plane fan, you need to come for the annual airventure convention.  Insane number of planes and hands on exhibits.  787 first public display and walkthroughs this year (got my tickets already…).

        Last year my daughters were in everything from a P-51 Mustang to the cockpit of a Globemaster to the boom controls of a KC-135.   

          1. My oldest is seven and loves this convention…she still talks about seeing a C-17 flight demo…We were 25 feet off the runway as it was demonstrating combat takeoffs/landings and doing low level (100 ft) fly bys.

            I will send Noisecast interior pics of the 787…should be cool.

  2. It is very cramped to sit in and very limited for weight…not so much a car as a flying enclosed motorcycle.  One passenger and a max takeoff weight of around 350 Lbs with a full load of fuel. 

    It is really bizarre to see in person and even stranger to sit in. It just feels wrong.

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