Is this (finally) our flying car?
May 9th, 2013
03:52 PM ET

Is this (finally) our flying car?

By Doug Gross, CNN

It's one of science fiction's greatest unfulfilled promises, right up there with teleportation and time travel.

And, no, Terrafugia hasn't built us a Tardis or promised to beam us up. But they say they're closer than ever to giving us a flying car.

This week, the Woburn, Massachussetts-based aerospace company announced it has begun feasibility studies on a car capable of vertical takeoffs and landings. The TF-X would be a four-seat, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, according to the company.

“We are passionate about continuing to lead the creation of a flying car industry and are dedicating resources to lay the foundations for our vision of personal transportation,” Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich said in a media release. “Terrafugia is about increasing the level of safety, simplicity, and convenience of aviation.  TF-X is an opportunity to provide the world with a new dimension of personal freedom!”

Yes, the long-awaited promise of "The Jetsons" may soon become reality.

Lest you think  the company is just getting our hopes up for some cheap publicity, know this - they've already created a flying car of sorts.

The Transition is a street-legal vehicle that's designed to fly in and out of airports. It was successfully flown for the first time in 2009. The second-generation version of the Transition performed a driving-and-flying demo last year.

The new TF-X project comes as work on the Transition shifts "from research and development to certification, production, and customer support activities," the company said.

Terrafugia says it has about 100 orders for the Transition, which goes for $279,000.

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The big difference between the Transition, which is scheduled to hit the market in 2015, and the new flying car is that the TF-X would be able to take off anywhere,  like a helicopter, and not just at an airport.

Its automation systems would make taking off and landing a self-driving process, though the driver would be able to take over manual control at any time.

Terrafugia (Latin for "escape from Earth") says it has had "preliminary conversations" with the Federal Aviation Administration about the TF-X and that the agency has "demonstrated their willingness to consider innovative technologies and regulatory solutions that are in the public interest and enhance the level of safety of personal aviation."

In other words, we might actually get to ride in one someday.

What do you think? Will we see widespread use of flying cars in our lifetimes? Let us know in the comments.

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Filed under: Culture • entrepreneurs • Future • Innovation • Tech
soundoff (1,068 Responses)
  1. In home personal training

    I think it would be scary having a machine fly you around. The lack of control would be an issue.

    April 22, 2014 at 8:57 pm | Reply
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  3. In home Personal Training Long Island

    This will ever happen. People can't drive cars let alone fly. People would die everyday in the millions.TF-X is an opportunity to
    provide the world with a new dimension of personal freedom! I just don't believe it. It would have to be computer driven.

    December 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • anonymys

      aa just shut up,,this will happen,, about twenty years ago or more no one belive that man would fly ,,and now we are,, and now the tecnology is moving forward with speed,, it isnt impossible to make flying cars happen in the future,, so just shut,,, and think for a second,,

      April 15, 2014 at 5:30 am | Reply
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    November 30, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Reply
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  7. innoutmaster300

    will it be able to hold the weight of humans

    November 5, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Reply
    • lorenzo

      yes it will

      November 10, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  8. jacobmartinez87

    Good talk in flying cars...

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    October 26, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Reply
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  10. John Polis

    Some needed research to this article. A flying car was marketed quite widely in the United States in the 1950's. Moulton Taylor produced and marketed his car from Longview, Washington. Check it out: http://www.aerocar.com

    October 17, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  11. Name*F.morar

    Hello , I am 25 years old. And I think that I have an idea that the world have never see ori hear , I think, like this because to me it seems really easily to be made I want to build samthing that fly! I know that ther are meny flying vehicles! But this, that I think abut , I think it will be really use full. It will be like a car , after you prototype one then the world will go on whit this idea and I beleve that after one of this vehicle is down. Then I am suer that it will go on like a car invention. I really beleve that if I meet sambady who can support me! I am really suer that we will make this vehicle work , I know that meny people have ideas, but this vehicle can fly I am suer, it will be samthing that can fly between the city , and it will start from 5 meters till 2/3 hundred meters ,this is how I want to make this vehicle , and I think it is possible because in my mind I can really see it a reality , but to go on whit this idea I need sambady who like to know more and not only this but who is interested and like really to see if this idea really work , because I know that it is nathing that can stop this vehicle to be a reality , everthing that I know it will be enaff for this vehicle to fly , I beleve that the world is going on whit technology and I know that in one day really soon this vehicle it will be invented I know that , ori I will be the one who do this ori in a few years I will see it fly med from sambady else , I know that the world will never stop whit technology. and this is why I will like to meet whit sambady to really see if this can be a reality. I know that it can be med , it is really a technology that it seems so really to me , and so use full. Over the whole world. , and I think this is what we need , because it will be esly, For everyone to use it, I am really thinking that in a period of time really soon,one prototype it will be med , because I really have a picture in my head , how this vehicle must look and be! I think it is not a big deal. Because to me. It,s really a good idea , that must be real ,! Maybe not now if I don't meet any interested people who want to see this and hear abut this , if it will be like this then I am the person who think abut it , and do nathing because I don't find support to develop one of this vehicle . And I know that really soon this vehicle will come on the world that we live in because technology. Will never stop, and we may have this opportunity to try.. To build this vehicle that it will be use full ! I also know that if this is a reality then I don't have any words how much money this idea can bring and I am really suer abut it, but the proablem its that I have this idea and I have no support to startup whit it , I need support I will like to make one prototype and I need someone to support me whit all the support I need , and I know that if I have the support then it will be nathing to stop this idea. To be a reality, please helpe me whit this idea ,to make it a reality. I am interested in any support that I can get , and how I say whit everthing that I have in my head I can see this vehicle fly,.. Because what I think, it is samthing whit more the 4 engines ,and I know it will be really easily made!! I think I know everthing for this prototype ! and if you think that ther it will be proablem whit the traffic ! Then you don't need to worry because I have an idea for this to,Please contact me and let's meet and see what we ca do to make it real ,
    If you want to meet and speak . You can call me 0613857186
    Thank you ,

    August 14, 2013 at 9:19 am | Reply
    • MFROM GERMANY

      Hey F! please elaborate what are you trying to show or say of your vision and evolution of a flying car? Please share it with amplication!

      October 30, 2013 at 8:45 am | Reply
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