Carl Dietrich, a student from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his colleagues, have been quietly working on achieving success on a project no one else has managed to: creating the world's first flying car!
Terrafugia (Latin for "escape from the earth"), Carls’ start-up company, says that the transition "personal air vehicle" should be ready for production as soon as 2009, with a working prototype available in 2008!
The "Transition" is able to land at the airport, fold up its wings and drive on the road.
According to the technical specifications sheet found on the Terrafugia website, fuel capacity will be 20 gallons for 120 mile per hour cruising speed at 75% power, and 30 miles per gallon in the air or city, with 40 miles to the gallon on the highway. The maximum wingspan will be 325in (27ft). Maximum length will be 225in (18.75ft), height 80in (6.75ft) and width when folded up will be 80in (6.75ft).
You can have the chance to test fly the "Transition," as Terrafugia has developed a model that can be loaded and flown within the X-plane flight simulator (this is a Beta Release). X-Plane is a flight simulator software which can be purchased and downloaded.
"We’re battling a credibility issue with a concept like this, because it has been tried so many times before," Dietrich conceded. "People tend to smirk when you say you’re trying to make a flying car: ‘Oh, you’re one of those guys. But,' he insisted, 'This isn’t just another flying car concept. We’re very serious about producing a flying car and selling it."
I am a die hard James Bond fan, there is something really compelling about a handsome guy in a tuxedo, battling arch villains with "cool" gadgets, that makes my heart flutter. I bet three movies along the next super spy will be stepping out of a "Transition" flying car!
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