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. Elizabeth

    I love the idea, however I wonder how safe it would be when people are texting and flying. Come on, we can't drive one place in America without people speeding, failing to use turn signals, tailgating, road rage..There will be a new term coined "air rage".. . It will be scary to see a plane with a plastic bag taped over a broken window.

    May 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  2. Mushky

    Maybe it could be used to tow icebergs

    May 10, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  3. JT

    Reconfiguring an existing chopper design into a flying car might be a faster way to get this going :)

    May 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  4. Bobb

    If anyone is truly serious about trying to make flying vehicles a workable alternative to land vehicles as a mode of everyday short-distance transportation, then they should be focusing on a helicopter platform instead of an airplane design. Don't get me wrong, I think any attempt to build such a system is futile due to inability to have effective control and to properly train people. But helicopters are much more in line with the basic requirement such a system would have – the ability of the vehicles to take off and land vertically, speed versatility, and more versatile maneuverability.

    May 10, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Reply
    • Kandi

      These takeoff vertically. Did you read the article?

      May 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  5. jimbo0117

    The flying car is just like nuclear fusion. A technology that is about 15 years away – and will always be about 15 years away.

    May 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • john semen

      the important thing is that we just stand still forever and never look at the wall, it might give you an idea. and if you ever have an idea never act upon it. look at the amish, theyre still alive! they wouldnt let the automobile kill their way of life and look at them now. "nothings impossible if you can imagine it"- Farnsworth

      May 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  6. Paul

    Unlikely for 2 main reasons:

    1. Safety – an ejector seat and parachute do not equate to survival and/or walking away from an accident. Look up the survival/injury rate from ejections of fit and very well trained military pilots. Imagine the medical claims... I broke back after ejecting from my car then parachuting but landed wrong. Who will be paying? Think this type of injury will be covered by your medical plan?

    2. In the current environment of security concerns would authorities allow the introduction of a vehicle that can drive anywhere and then take off? Then fly anywhere and land someplace completely different. And then simply drive away from that landing location?

    May 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      Exactly the two arguments that I despise the most. Who will pay for me when I get hurt? And, no because we have to give up everything in the name of security.

      May 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Reply
      • Paul

        You got it. The first fight would be with Uncle Sam... I imagine DHS will object the most strongly. The second fight will be with the lawyers. There will be gangs of them lining up to get liability from falling there way. The flying car manufacturer, the ejection seat manufacturer, the parachute manufacturer.... plus the health insurance companies will not be wanting to provide coverage. There are nay number of activities not covered by default that you must pay special for or cannot even get coverage for. Lastly, what kind of insurance rates would be requested? I cannot afford the flying car but I imagine the insurance fees would be outrageous.

        May 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  7. Russell Scott Day

    Flying cars have been around for decades. They haven't caught on because they typically don't make great cars, and at the same time don't make great airplanes.
    For the Rochester to Buffalo news, today, I am certain it is only the price that is holding you back. I'll do whatever it takes, like getting one that fits your needs with an (Eperimental) FAA certification if that's what it takes
    Call the Cirrus aircraft company and tell them you are serious and they have the skill sitting around that could build you one with what you really want, : An AutoPlane with a Parachute!

    May 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  8. zane

    lets make flying cars for terrorists to have something new to use to fly into buildings.... good thinking America

    May 10, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Reply
    • KingOfDblWides

      And how would that be any different from any terrorist using an already abundant Cessna plane?

      Please think before you speak.............

      May 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  9. Chris

    And Guess what folks its probably priced at half a million dollars and the general public will never be able to afford the only people that will be able to afford it is rich Hollywood snobs that don't deserve it and will most likely die and kill themselves and show it off to people who cant afford it and people like bill gates and Donald trump if your going to make a flying car at least make one the average day general public can afford so we can actually see more of them then just 5 flying around and flying cars means we have to have new laws and traffic regulations and make floating street lights and hyper lanes so they don't crash and kill themselves

    May 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  10. Bratislava!

    Looks like a flying fish

    May 10, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  11. lathebiosas

    People need lines and a flat surface.

    May 10, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  12. Paul

    We'll see smart roads with driverless cars first. Then when we're all comfortable with the computer making the decisions for our transportation then and only then will we see "flying cars". I see the way my wife maintained her van. Trust me the last thing you want is that thing sitting above your head.

    Automation will stop the car from lifting off if there's not enough fuel or there are general or major maint. issues.

    Only then....

    May 10, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  13. Ed G.

    I'm wondering if a pilot's license would be required.

    May 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • John Hruban

      With all the Pigs flying, won't that be a problem?

      May 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  14. John

    Will police hand out FUI violations?

    May 10, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  15. bill

    air traffic controllers are overworked enough as it is

    May 10, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  16. karan

    Automobile industry runs country they will never let it go commercial yet lol .....

    May 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  17. Lifeislikeafreckle

    I bet disabilities people are forbidden to drive a flying car...

    May 10, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  18. Michael

    In order for this to work you'd need the following:

    1. A Google autopilot (doesn't have to be Google of course) to keep the controls out of the human. If the human wants physical control, fine, get a pilot's license and adhere to their rules and regulations and in a separate airspace, but for the mere mortals do not give them control.

    2. A mechanism that prevents takeoff, and attempts an autolanding if in the air, if problems with the vehicle are detected by the computer. Cars don't prevent you from driving with a bad car, but a flying car should.

    3. Ejector seats with attached parachutes to save the humans in case of emergency. I don't have an answer for how to prevent the dogs and other animals traveling with you from dying, perhaps they'd best stay on the ground. It'd be nice if the car had a parachute too, though during take off and landing that won't help much.

    4. Designated air spaces that the autopilot must adhere to in case one falls out of the sky to prevent damage on the ground.

    May 10, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  19. Michael John Anthony

    So. The Flying Car, or Flar for short. It's all about engineering compromise, or enginecromise for short – the camel the committee unveiled at the auto show.

    May 10, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  20. Karaya

    Must be a slow day in a newsroom...

    May 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  21. maeks

    Finally, Obama's dream for American is coming true, Especially from his List expected State.

    May 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Reply
    • Anna

      Yeah Right. Since we have a Muslim for a president this country feel apart

      May 10, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Reply
      • CJ

        You must have been in a coma during the Bush years. BTY Predsident Obama is not a Muslim.

        May 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
      • Justin

        The ignorance of people like you will never cease to amaze me. You're like little sheep, doing and believing whatever nonsense you're told by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. You can't even type "fell" correctly, making your statement even more ignorant. Grow up, get educated, and stop throwing around opinions you heard that aren't fact.

        May 10, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  22. Valkyrie612

    Can you imagine, the sky filled with sky-raging Nascar wanna-be's, and Sunday driving grandmas....

    Flight of the Valkyries: "Dah duh duh-dah-daahh-da, duh -duh-dah-daahh da, duh -duh-dah-daahh da, duh duh-dah-daaaahhh!!!"

    "Then light shone from Logafell, and from that radiance there came bolts of lightning; wearing helmets at Himingvani came the Valkyries. Their byrnies were drenched in blood; and rays shone from their spears." – from the Norse poem, "Helgakviða Hundingsbana I"

    May 10, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Reply
    • JFCanton

      The crowding problem could probably be solved by automated guidance systems: there's a lot more room up there, and unlike with a car, there is true 360-degree visibility. But can reliability be high enough? If there were a lot more light planes up in the air, we probably wouldn't accept the existing accident rate because they'd be routinely taking out people on the ground, as opposed to very rarely.

      May 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  23. Evan

    You can only call it a "car" if the wings retract and you can drive it on surface roads. Otherwise it's more like a vertical lift aircraft and like a helicopter in its ability to allow commuters to pilot it.

    May 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • Michael

      You might not need to retract the wings. It doesn't look any wider than your average tractor-trailer.

      May 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  24. Carl Buick

    This thing has a glide ratio slightly better than a brick.

    May 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • Michael

      So did the space shuttle.

      May 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  25. C. Segal

    IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN...
    They have a better chance of making money by inventing "Powdered Water".
    Be realistic here, People can't even get along on the ground with their present cars and now some crack pot wants to make these things fly?

    May 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  26. Male-Pig

    Great now we will have some woman putting on makeup and flying.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:59 am | Reply
  27. winstonsmith

    Clearly these would need to be automated, and AI automation technology will have a lot to do with when these become legit. We WILL see them though. It's a great way to travel. And cars are really, really dangerous. So as long as basic safety protocols are put into place, even if there is some chaos and death from accidents it could very well be less than the chaos and death of land vehicles. But of course to just let anyone fly these would be absurd, but that's why AI drivers will be so important. You get in, and computers map everything out. If we could design a technology that shoots down "bubbles" to land on a la Final Fantasy The Spirits Within that would help too for the crashes that do happen, and you could make no fly zones over really populated areas.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • john semen

      now drunk driveng gets a whole lot safer! you could just say no officer, i was asleep in the back hell he (the ai) was driving.

      May 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  28. Mark

    The headline says on CNN start page "Finally a flying car" but then goes on to talk about a feasibility study. Well feasibility studies into flying cars have been done for decades. The "Finally" implied someone was producing one.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:56 am | Reply
  29. Walter Ego

    oh boy.. another flying car article.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:53 am | Reply
  30. notamuslim210

    Not a good drawing but hey if you want a flying car that is safe you could always make a custom helium ballon with an electric ducted fan drive. (Hot air would be too large) You would not have the speed but you would have a car shaped object and it would go for distance on electricity. Of course that is what we can make right now but who knows maybe some future plastic will allow for a vacuum cell instead of the helium further reducing the size required for minimum bouyancy to something that can fit in an RV sized highway lane. The future is not always the way it starts but you always have to start somewhere and right now this is what they have to offer.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:51 am | Reply
  31. Renee

    First thing that came to my mind: Flying Ford Anglia from Harry Potter.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:51 am | Reply
  32. Steve

    Hmmm. Should I buy a flight with Virgin Galatic's Spaceship Two or buy one of these? Tough choice for the folks who can afford it. ;)

    May 10, 2013 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • Steve

      FYI: No I can't afford it either.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:52 am | Reply
      • b_randon

        but i can i have already ordered three and am giving one to my maid

        May 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
  33. zandhcats

    Fantastic, It'll have less traffic jam in future!

    May 10, 2013 at 11:50 am | Reply
  34. BobZemko

    Now when will they come out with a portable, affordable death ray?

    May 10, 2013 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • Rodney McNeely

      They already have those. And the NRA is making sure you can get your hands on as many as you like.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:59 am | Reply
      • b_randon

        yeah i know

        May 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  35. Paul

    Cut down all the trees and remove all the lights in the supermarket parking lot... Imagine 20 or 30 of these trying to land on the same spot in a parking lot... You think it is bad now when an idiot steals your parking spot??? Fiery crashes left and right... But at $250K I don’t see many of the poor people flying anytime soon.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:46 am | Reply
  36. Nipun

    The Air traffic controllers should expect a tough job in future.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:42 am | Reply
    • Jason

      Automation will take over the role of ATC in the future. These flying cars will anticipate and divert from potential collisions. It would be amazing to see where this technology will lead and where aviation will be in 1,000 years. Assuming we don't blow ourselves into oblivion by then.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:50 am | Reply
  37. Ike

    Today, I received a recall on my new flying car; I was at 5000 feet. It said, o-ring on fuel line may fail make a appointment when convenient. I looked at my gauges, engine stopped, luckily I dropped right down on the dealer, dealer asked – did I make an appointment? I said no, but did call 911; fire trucks are on their way.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:41 am | Reply
  38. Nice dream

    I always loved the idea, but the reality is that it is nothing more than a airplane, with the same regulations, meaning you will need a pilots license and submit flight plans. We just can't have people deciding to "take off" from any point and land where ever they want.. we all know it would mean crashes and deaths. Suppose you are in traffic and 4 of you decided to take off at the same time but there was no communitcation?

    May 10, 2013 at 11:32 am | Reply
    • Mr. Micro

      I always thought this would start off more like a "land speeder" where technology would eventually get rid of traditional "Wheels" and make a "car" more like an "air car" that floats on the road. Very star wars like.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • David

      Ah, But what I would be interested in is somekid of intermediary between Airport and Highway. Imagine you are in fact stuck in traffic (or soon will be). You could simply exit and pulll into your nearest air-car-port (meant specifically for flying commuters), get in line, and take off when cleared. Flight planning would be all automated as there are only a set numbe of destinations (other aircarports or an actuall airpor). Get in line, take off, and land at you desired location. Tuck in the wings, pay your toll, and pull onto the highway again- only this time just a few miles from your final destination....just sayin...

      May 10, 2013 at 11:45 am | Reply
  39. Mike

    Well my oldest son is 18 now back in the days of six years old I remember saying to him while repairing our family car that he will never know what it was to drive on a road! How wrong was I and 12 year later we not even got emission right yet 😟 it's a said world with so little improvements. Ok things really haven't changed just got smaller my phone now fits in side my pocket but is always on the table! Where was it 20/30 years ago on the table! My car can now do 55 mpg 30 years ago I could have filled that car up with five pounds. Change never smaller good

    May 10, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • DJ

      Yes, but do you still have a landline and could you make a reservation, pay your bills, or communicate face to face with your loved ones several years ago? There's been plenty of innovation, exponentially from the years of our parents. It all starts with a Vision. Shaping that vision will take time. To your point. We did not start out with mobile phones that could fit in our pockets, nor were they inexpensive or accessible by the masses.

      May 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  40. Mema

    I want one I want one I want one!! IT IS SO TIME to bring out the flying cars/back pacs and anything that gets us up in the air! Gosh, I love this! I want one!

    May 10, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
  41. gf333

    Stalled engine = CERTAIN DEATH
    Out of fuel = CERTAIN DEATH
    Fall asleep driving = CERTAIN DEATH
    Collision = CERTAIN DEATH
    Tiny Fender bender = CERTAIN DEATH

    Until they invent some sort of technology that can keep cars hovering at certain distances without the need of an engine, and the engine is only the propulsion device ... this idea will remain in sci fi movies. Also, you'd have to make operating one idiot-proof. Otherwise, when an idiot hits you, or your engine breaks or stalls or runs out of fuel, instead of just coasting to a stop on the side of a highway, your air car will plunge to the earth to certain death. Of course there's always ejection seats and parachutes.

    IF this ever happens, it would seem to require an auto pilot to make it feasible.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:29 am | Reply
    • Larry

      I've been thinking the same thing for a long time.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • Michael

      How about an ejector seat and parachute? Of course that won't help people on the ground, but it'll save the driver's butt.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • Mark D

      Auto deployed vehicle parachutes for failures and interior/exterior airbags like Mars lander??? Have some imagination.

      May 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • Mark D

      Besides, most of us don't have to worry, only a select few of the so called 1% ers will be able to die in one of these. There goes the tax base. LOL

      May 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • john semen

      maybe the car could turn into a giant beachball in the event of a crash.....yeah

      May 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  42. Mario

    It looks like they copied the shuttlecraft from the Enterprise

    May 10, 2013 at 11:26 am | Reply
  43. keith

    I see how most people drive while on the ground. The last thing we need to do is to make those same people airborne. Thanks, but no thanks.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:25 am | Reply
    • nathan

      so true

      May 10, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
  44. Dave

    This technology is so way behind Iron Man 3

    May 10, 2013 at 11:24 am | Reply
    • nathan

      yea

      May 10, 2013 at 11:32 am | Reply
  45. Steve

    I love that it looks like a Star Trek shuttle craft, kinda.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:22 am | Reply
  46. USA Guest

    I WANT ONE!

    See the traffic stopped in front just go ABOVE and be on your way : )

    Or, police on your tail, take off and fly away.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:22 am | Reply
  47. TopGear

    I would not trust my life to a company that can't even keep their website up.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:21 am | Reply
  48. OhhPinnYunn

    I need a Dodge Ram Mega-Cab pick up that can fly.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:18 am | Reply
  49. Old Biff

    A FLYING DELOREAN......?

    May 10, 2013 at 11:17 am | Reply
    • Todd

      It looks more like a recycled AMC Pacer.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:32 am | Reply
  50. Langor

    A feasibility study on a VTOL car huh, I bet that took 5 minutes and the results were... NOT FEASIBLE. I see that some guy said we went to the moon why not, well because you don't just sell cars to aerospace engineers, Honey Boo Boo's parents will want one too.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:12 am | Reply
  51. LouAZ

    I'm 70 years old. Got a couple Engineering Degrees, and a few US Patents. Worked Aerospace and airplane propulsion. Seen this silly idea all my life. It ain't going to happen. Laws of physics and thermodynamics have not changed. Wanna fly to work or the shopping mall ? Get a circus cannon. They actually work for a short distance. What do you think those black "stripes" are on the side of the pointy blobs at the ends of the "wings" ?
    By the way, I have a 300 MPG carburetor all worked out and am looking for suckers . . . sorry . . . investors.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:12 am | Reply
    • Jeremy B

      I am around half your age... and I agree 100% – Cannot see how the power of the future "electric" will power this enough to stay up and move it.. The Only way to get a car that flys is to make it lighter than air without power, I don't see how a Balloon is the way of the future.. Unless they can inflate aluminum with Helium to make the car lighter than air..

      May 10, 2013 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • Ken

      Lou.. It is old know it all farts like you that always think it can't be done. I understand what you say about science and logic. But wasn't this the same style of thinking in the 60's,70's,80's etc? I know, I know.. I hear you about the wheel.. But the ability to fly is always being challenged. Look up Quadcopte for instancer.. Think outside of the box for change. Try to be a tad more optimistic. You might be able to remove the "old know it all fart" label that is on your forehead

      May 10, 2013 at 11:22 am | Reply
      • gf333

        Yeah, I think they can make cars that can fly no problem. They'll just have to use lightweight materials and wings that are retractable. I think the main problem isn't with technology, it's the fact that engines break and stall and you're leaving it to non-professional everyday sort of people to maintain ... plus the fact that any problems with so many people interacting in the same area or wrecks or engine issues could leave you plunging to certain death.

        May 10, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • bstump

      You engineers are cracking me up. They've already got the Transition model flying. The've got video of it. It drives. It flies.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • Arby

      My first look at that drawing and my question was "where's the lift?" It appears there is a push-prop in the rear? I cannot figure out what the pods at the wingtips are.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:32 am | Reply
      • Thinker...

        It looks to me like the black stripes are folded back propeller blades. I would guess that the pods would rotate up when taking off or hovering.

        May 10, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  52. Ugbesia Omokhodion

    this idea is achievable but is farfetched....www.chesstango.com

    May 10, 2013 at 11:07 am | Reply
  53. Good Lord

    So every person living in a high-rise has to insure against aircar intrusion? And every wreck falls to the ground resulting in even more deaths? NOT a good idea.

    OOPS – I just ran out of gas !!!!

    May 10, 2013 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • Ken

      Don't sweat them crashing into your high rise. They will have restricted flying zones. Another words, they will wheel to a flying point then fly. Do you have any logic thinking abilities at all GL?

      May 10, 2013 at 11:14 am | Reply
    • Yeah

      It's a terrible idea... and cars are a bad idea because you can crash them into single family homes. Plus planes are a bad idea because they can run out of gas.

      you're very smart.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • gf333

      Dude, no problem. Buildings will be outfitted with protective lases to shoot down vehicles that get to close ... implementing a "THEM OR US" defense system.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:33 am | Reply
    • Driving G_O_D

      I have been driving for 30 + years. I have never had a break down (except a flat tire in a parking lot once, yes I changed it myself) and I have never run out of gas. I'll take the first one off the line. Take care of your cars people.

      May 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  54. Chas

    How about an Obama car/plane. LOL. One in every pot. LOL. Don't let him read this, He'll give them a trillion bucks.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • loveanddarkness

      What is so incredibly wrong in you that you feel compelled to make such a stupid comment?

      May 10, 2013 at 11:08 am | Reply
  55. Luiz R Simoes

    Why is everybody reacting like that? In 1969 they went to the mom, why not flying cars? I think it will be easier in 2014... I just want to know what is the propulsion. Turbine?

    May 10, 2013 at 11:03 am | Reply
  56. wp4j

    Look at that image... it is totally venture capital hype, there is no way that the thing in that image would fly, it is completely misleading, false advertising.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • Jeremy B

      true, Cannot see how it would propel itself without huge power... Since electric is the power of choice, you are not getting that up in the air for long since Power will need to keep it up and move it in a direction..

      May 10, 2013 at 11:13 am | Reply
    • Deb

      Um, did you read the article? They have already demonstrated it is possible.
      "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."

      May 10, 2013 at 11:45 am | Reply
  57. Jeremy B

    Will never be practical, flying is no where near as efficient as tires for local driving.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:02 am | Reply
  58. B Burris

    Think of other dual purpose vehicles like the amphicar... doesn't make a good boat nor car. Same thing here... won't be a good car or a good aircraft.

    May 10, 2013 at 11:01 am | Reply
  59. Jack

    This would be great if you are getting car jacked and cannot get away. Imagine the thugs faces when you head straight towards a wall and ZOOM take off into the sky lol

    May 10, 2013 at 11:01 am | Reply
  60. Crusader

    I'm all for the idea of this. Been wanting this ever since I was a kid.

    But what happens when someone loads up one of these with a bunch of explosives and flies it into a building?

    May 10, 2013 at 10:59 am | Reply
    • Driving G_O_D

      Same thing if someone straps a backpack on filled with explosive. Really, didn't you see the footage in Boston.

      May 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  61. mickinmd

    "It's one of science fiction's greatest unfulfilled promises..." No it's not, Doug. Do some research. So many flying cars had been successfully made right after WW2 that when the Interstate Highway System was proposed, one initial proposal included a landing strip every 50 miles to accommodate car-planes. But when it was realized how dangerous a huge number of car-planes would be, that idea was shelved.

    May 10, 2013 at 10:58 am | Reply
    • Jay in Florida

      Actually, the landing strip only occurs on the Interstate highways, and it was conceived by General Eisenhower in case that WWII drew all the way back to our national territory. Eisenhower realized the highways could be used as landing strips in case of emergency for airforce pilots engaged in combat who were shot down. Do your research.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:01 am | Reply
      • LouAZ

        Captain Eisenhauer's job in his early US Army career was to study how the military could move equipment between the Atlantic and Pacific Coast. Among his ananlysis was the already built German Autobhan (sp?) that could also be used for aircraft if needed. Lots of interesting info in the Public Library.

        May 10, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • steve

      actually when the interstates were build they were required to make straightaways every so often so the military can use them as airstrips in case of emergencies.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:17 am | Reply
  62. Bob Lewis

    Yeah, that's what we need-millions of incompetent, distracted drivers, raining death from the skies while drinking, applying makeup, rubber necking and texting.

    May 10, 2013 at 10:58 am | Reply
    • Driving G_O_D

      We already have drunks in the sky. They are called airline pilots. They drink, they leave flight attendants flying while they sleep in business class. I don't see that things would change much.

      May 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  63. JimBob

    Sure, what could go wrong?

    May 10, 2013 at 10:57 am | Reply
  64. Mentallect

    I look forward to the day when a flying car is in every drive way.

    May 10, 2013 at 10:51 am | Reply
  65. RinosRwinos

    What a stupid idea. How many people are really going to be able to own or fly one of these? And second, our skies are crowded enough without a bunch of amateurs. The last thing we need is more of these raining down on our neighborhoods and cities. Most of the planes that crash are amateur pilots.

    May 10, 2013 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • ATPMSD

      Look up and you will see the skies are empty! The problem we have is that they are very few airports that can handle larger passenger jets, and we have a lot of traffic trying to get into and out of those airports. And when weather moves in it just makes things worse.

      May 10, 2013 at 10:59 am | Reply
      • RinosRwinos

        There are an average of 60,000 people in the air at one time in arilines around th earth. I used to work for an airline. With cars you have minor fender benders. There are no minor accidents in the sky.

        May 10, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • wes

      AMEN!

      May 10, 2013 at 11:08 am | Reply
      • Driving G_O_D

        population control, I don't see a problem.

        May 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • trilly3807

      If everyone thought the same way you do, we would never have any new technological advances. I'm pretty sure people said the same thing when automobiles were introduced. "Ha! They'll never replace horse drawn carriages!".

      May 10, 2013 at 11:13 am | Reply
      • Driving G_O_D

        Where the heck did I leave that horse and buggy. Someone give me a stone and chisel I need to reply to this post.

        May 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  66. JackHammer

    For the first 15 or so years these things start flying they'll be falling from the sky like rain.

    May 10, 2013 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • Marcus

      For the first 15 years these thing are made, no one will have them but military and law enforcement. Don't worry.

      May 10, 2013 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • Tom

      You mean, they'll turn into water? That's environmentally friendly.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:04 am | Reply
  67. Bobb

    I just don't think we'll ever be flying in our cars to and from work every day. It's not technology holding flying cars back, it's simple logistics and traffic control. How could you ever have an effective air traffic control system to effectively regulate thousands of cars in the sky during rush hour? Not only the sheer numbers, but the speed. Fixed wing aircraft have to maintain a certain speed to stay in the air. There would be an average of several thousand fatalities every day.

    May 10, 2013 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • Lawrence

      People could manage their own logistics with built in navigation, and air traffic monitoring systems. There is more room in the air than on the roads. driver's school would need to be a little more involved, but it could be done.

      May 10, 2013 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • Jordan

      I completely agree. I don't want to say "never" will we have flying cars, as anything is always possible, but I can't imagine any sort of air traffic control system that would ever work for the masses. Roads work most of the time because people have to follow given paths, but in the air, there is no control.

      May 10, 2013 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • mmmm

      If it's possible to have flying cars, i think finding a way to regular air traffic control should be no problem

      May 10, 2013 at 11:02 am | Reply
    • Eric

      COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

      May 10, 2013 at 11:02 am | Reply
    • herchato

      I think you ask a lot of great questions but I believe all your questions will be answered. Probably not in our life time, at least not in mine, but things are moving fast and getting faster. I believe that we are much like our ancestors of old except we have more questions. As long as we continue to ask questions and continue to try and answer them we will continue to find the answers.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • john semen

      sif it results in thousands of deaths a year the job market would get better. dying in a flying car would be a cool way to die! a win win for everybody

      May 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  68. Sharon

    So maybe these will be available for Mother's day 2015? I most certainly will get my mom one of these for mother's day!! I think this is an awesome idea. Let's hope they let us "regular" people get access to one. Planning a trip with the girls would not be an issue here – Anyone for a road trip!!!!!

    May 10, 2013 at 10:37 am | Reply
  69. Rick McDaniel

    That is sure to increase deaths by car.

    May 10, 2013 at 10:35 am | Reply
    • Unlo4

      So did the invention of the automobile, compared to the horse and buggy.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:10 am | Reply
  70. Sharon

    This looks great! however, the FAA would have a problem with it being able to take off from anywhere; and exactly how would this aircraft – /vehicle be covered by insurance? Just imagine you are on a regular commercial flight and all of a sudden some kid attempts to joy ride in his dad's TF-X. Or if someone is being pursued by the FBI or police in one of these things? I don't think they are going to let this BEAUTIFUL INVENTION be available to the general population. But it is a nice dream!!!!

    May 10, 2013 at 10:32 am | Reply
  71. Bryan

    Never Going to Happen
    Varying Air Density at different elevations, IFR conditions, Temp variation, crosswind. Pick any of the variables involved in flying that make it so difficult.
    I am 20 hours into my flight training and it is the most challenging thing I have done. Most people can barely drive a car as it is. Throw in texting, drinking, etc.

    Also add that police will be swapped out with the NTSB and FAA...

    Sounds neato on paper but the reality is flying cars will never be commonplace.

    May 10, 2013 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • Unlo4

      Man will never travel safely faster than about 20 MPH, a horse at full gallop.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:13 am | Reply
      • Driving G_O_D

        That's not safe. Guess you've never ridden a horse.

        May 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  72. BoThome

    I was on board until they mentioned it would be an electric car. The weight of all those batteries would make it be extremely difficult to make the car flight worthy. They only get about 250 miles on a charge when all they have to do is constantly overpower the friction on the road. Imagine having to have the lift and thrust to keep 2 tons in the air? Probably stay charged for 30 minutes max.

    Plus, there has got to be a weight limit on the occupants / cargo. I can't see a family of 4 in the US, with all of them being overweight being able to safely fly in this car. It would be the equivalent of 6 or 7 normal sized people riding in it.

    May 10, 2013 at 10:31 am | Reply
  73. vince

    Forget the flying car, where's my jet pack?

    May 10, 2013 at 10:27 am | Reply
  74. Quagmire

    This car ins whack

    May 10, 2013 at 10:23 am | Reply
  75. Ed

    can my dog hang her head out of the window?

    May 10, 2013 at 10:20 am | Reply
    • Quagmire

      Don't act dumb ed

      May 10, 2013 at 10:24 am | Reply
      • Gene Milton

        Ed is not acting.

        May 10, 2013 at 10:32 am |
      • rkres

        Don't act even dumber Quagmire

        May 10, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • bdkwerner

      The most important question, Ed!

      May 10, 2013 at 11:09 am | Reply
  76. Marcus

    Hmm... Will the police now be armed with stinger missiles?

    May 10, 2013 at 10:20 am | Reply
  77. Rick

    For all of you naysayers thank instantly like to harsh good ideas because you automatically think you will never be able to own one? You are probably right...that is, probably not on your own. Ever heard of Fractional Ownership? Shared Ownership? We pioneered fractional ownership of small planes for a mass market, and we are still trying to get our hands around how vast that market really is. Next are boats. Why not this? Putting partners together to accomplish more than we could alone is called collaboration. Those of you who grew up and became ego-centric without an understanding of how sharing and collaboration works will ALWAYS miss out. Miss out of enjoyment, happiness, and opportunity.

    Don't be surprised when, in the near future, you start seeing the words "sharing", "partnerships", or "fractional ownership" in articles written about Terrafugia.

    May 10, 2013 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • Optimist Prime

      Do you believe these posts? 'it'll never work; I can't afford one; what about parachutes; people will be crashing into everything." It is a wonder we made it out of the 19th century with this thinking. All the reasons why not! This is why America looks and smells like rotten meat. We are no longer a people of possibilities. We used to only say no to tyrants, now we say it to ideas. I gotta get back to work and of this message board, I was under the delusion that the people responding to such a interesting article would be interesting?

      May 10, 2013 at 10:15 am | Reply
      • Brian

        Agreed our country has become coach vombies and the battry is maan we have jets in the military that take off vertically so once u reach your heiht the propasion keeps u going like a jet .... remeber america was the land of ideas not oh it cant work leave that tto london ok!!!!

        May 10, 2013 at 11:10 am |
      • chadwdesign

        Totally agree with you.

        May 10, 2013 at 11:27 am |
      • Abolish

        Sad, especially when most of all these voiced concerns have already been taken into consideration and solved. Like the company cant put forth a brainstorming session to compete with a news comment section. I love that people are also acting as if auto pilot would have to be invented,..? Where have people been.

        May 10, 2013 at 11:43 am |
      • Driving G_O_D

        Yes people like you would run into everything. Not to worry you wouldn't be able to pass the test. Good day to you sir.

        May 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
      • notamuslim210

        Many of those problems are already solved by devices that have already been fielded such as the ballistic parachute already available on a sport plane manufactured in the USA. Airspace restriction warnings and collision avoidance minded by the TCAS system (and soon augmented by the Mode "S" air traffic control radar upgrades currently in progress) around the USA. Yes the problems can be worked out although I do agree with the limitations on qualifications for users since currently you are about 50 times safer the minutes you get 50 feet above ground. While it is true that current aircraftdo occasionally crash into houses now and more flying machines mean more chance for carnage. We will have to do that most difficult thing and grow into the new technology.

        May 16, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  78. Vixis

    Only those who can afford this "flying car" will be the one's buying them, hopefully they will be equipped with parachutes just incase.

    May 10, 2013 at 10:04 am | Reply
  79. alexthemerz

    The average human being has a hard enough time dealing with two dimensions. Never mind three. Unless you can get that Google self driving car mechanism into them.

    May 10, 2013 at 10:03 am | Reply
  80. cboy619

    I don't trust most drivers with 4 wheels on the ground (especially drunk drivers), let alone flying in the air...

    May 10, 2013 at 10:03 am | Reply
  81. more2bits

    I want one but of course could never afford one. Something to dream about.

    May 10, 2013 at 9:59 am | Reply
  82. Optimist Prime

    Wow, one thing is for sure. The world has more than its fair share of pessimists! Of course this is great! This is fantastic. Yes the price will drop and no this is not some devious plan to serve the plutocracy! (all the same crap they said about the car) With mapping technology and computerized navigation combined with clean and green energy; this is our future. Can you imagine the economic and energy efficiency of actually moving in a straight line to get from point a to b, not to mention the tax money saved on not paving and re-paving our highways. Land Freeways turned into parks and golf courses, land to build new schools, business districts and housing. There is plenty of space above us and virtual roadways are already possible, ships use them to navigate shipping channels with their Nav systems. This would be a giant leap economical, environmental, social leap forward... you name it! Sign me up!

    May 10, 2013 at 9:58 am | Reply
    • shiststone

      Couldn't have said it better myself!

      May 10, 2013 at 9:59 am | Reply
    • JFCanton

      It's a neat idea, as is their working prototype... which is maybe a more realistic thing to talk about, given that the military, with far more tolerance for operational risk, almost abandoned the Osprey project because the vertical thing was such trouble. But it's quite speculative to think that a two-seater vehicle is going to eliminate any major infrastructure needs.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • WILL

      Well said. All these negative comments. People dont know what they are saying. There is already a virtual highway in the sky that has been in the works for years. These assumptions that the air is crowded is absurb. There more space up there than there is land and roads. Rich people would buy them first and eventually price would decrease where everyone one day would be able to afford the. I cant wait for that day.

      May 10, 2013 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • Shuddha

      Completely agree. The company building these vehicles must have spent a lot of thought into all these issues. Technology continues to evolve. There is a lot of potential, I hope they don't botch the execution...

      May 10, 2013 at 11:23 am | Reply
  83. galtrol

    Celebs would be quick, early adopters... it will help them avoid the paparazzi.

    Rescue vehicles, could eventually replace the helicopter as the tech develops.

    Taxis would be cool. Would be more expensive than a regular taxi, but would allow the average person have more of a chance to experience the technology, at least briefly.

    As for batteries. I think they need to develop a quick change out system, like you do with regular batteries. This way, you could leave one or more packs at home to charge and switch out without having to wait.

    May 10, 2013 at 9:55 am | Reply
    • Joe

      Actually 99% of the time celebs want the paparazzi around. They require them so they can stay on TV, Magazines and Internet.

      When a celebrity insults the paparazzi, the paparazzi will sometimes punish them by ignoring them for a while until an apology is issued!

      May 10, 2013 at 10:11 am | Reply
  84. I want one

    Put a automatic parachute deployment on the top and you have a sale! :(

    May 10, 2013 at 9:52 am | Reply
    • Guest 1

      I quick look at the website reveals that the TF-X will have a "full airframe parachute".

      May 10, 2013 at 10:11 am | Reply
  85. shiststone

    The price of $300,000 isn't all that much for an intro advanced technology..........the price of a Tesla is around $90,000 and it doesn't fly. This is an electric car..........that flys! WIth GPS guidance systems, I say they'll be common in a decade.

    May 10, 2013 at 9:51 am | Reply
    • vbscript2

      They probably won't even be in production in a decade. They may be more common someday, but not in a decade. They (Terrafugia, the manufacturer) are expecting development to take 8-12 years and they are shooting for a target price range simliar to a high-end luxury car (e.g. probably hundreds of thousands in today's dollars.)

      May 10, 2013 at 10:10 am | Reply
    • G.T.

      When the first Plasma TV's came out, it was priced at 10,000-15,000; for a 32-40 inch. Now you can buy a 32 inch LCD for under 400. just saying...

      May 10, 2013 at 10:28 am | Reply
    • Driving G_O_D

      That's what they promised in the 60's. One in every drive within a decade.

      May 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  86. Nick

    YAY EVERYDAY WILL BE 9-11

    May 10, 2013 at 9:50 am | Reply
    • dan

      o geez

      May 10, 2013 at 9:54 am | Reply
      • James PDX

        I know, right? Because every terrorist has an extra 300 grand lying around to try to take down a skyscraper with a vehicle that will either fit through the window or just bounce off of the building.

        May 10, 2013 at 10:06 am |
      • vbscript2

        Yeah... and I doubt the few gallons of gas in this thing would do much to most buildings. It would be like that moron who flew his airplane into an IRS building resulting in his own death, but not much else.

        May 10, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Joe

      You can't take out buildings with a car, but I see your point about safety.

      We already have flying vehicles all over the air, we just call them airplanes.

      May 10, 2013 at 10:13 am | Reply
      • Driving G_O_D

        Really, try telling the people in Oklahoma that. When were you born?

        May 10, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  87. JN

    I'm an FAA certificated pilot and I doubt I'd be in any hurry to get one of these. Frankly I'd be worried about some idiot on the ground crashing into it while I was driving around and doing many, many thousands of dollars in damage to it, etc. This wouldn't be something you could just take to your local body shop. Insurance alone is going to be an absolute nightmare.

    In the air I feel reasonably safe because I'm in the company of professionals and people who have invested a lot of time and money into getting their licenses. Driving is another matter – any idiot who can fog a mirror can get a license to drive a car. Statistically I'm more likely to die in a car wreck driving to the airport than in an aircraft accident. Aircraft are not (and should not) be for the mass public. Sorry if that sounds elitst, but the statistics show convincingly that the average person out there simply doesn't have the skills to handle an aircraft, even one with a lot of modern technological nanny automations.

    It is a very cool idea though, but it's far more practical to just buy a used C172 or Cherokee and fly that. This is far too expensive to ever catch on in large numbers. As someone said above it's intended to be a toy with a lot of "cool" factor and it does have that.

    May 10, 2013 at 9:47 am | Reply
    • Al

      I think this is more of a pioneer vehicle than anything that will ever be mass consumed. At some point I have to imagine automation technology will allow for safe flight for aforementioned idiots.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:56 am | Reply
    • James PDX

      New technology is always expensive before it catches on and gets remade for mass consumption.

      May 10, 2013 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • stillbjorn

      "I'm an FAA certificated pilot and I doubt I'd be in any hurry to get one of these."

      I await with bated breath the coming obsolescence of your current occupation. And good riddance when it finally happens.

      I'm sure that this vehicle will be great, but that the FAA will find a way to convince congress to ban it. Just like the last time someone tried.

      May 10, 2013 at 10:09 am | Reply
      • JN

        Why the ad hominem attack? Are you a naturally hateful or spiteful person or what? Just curious. Incidentally, I no longer fly professionally for a living (although I used to, not that it's really any of your business).

        My point is that the weak point in this (very cool, admittedly) invention is the driving side, not the flying side – and the data are with me on that in terms of accident statistics.

        I'm sure you're as level-headed and courteous on the road as you are online, which only underscores my above and earlier point. Rant away and have a nice day.

        May 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
      • Driving G_O_D

        And we hear from the drunk.

        May 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  88. Smoke and mirrors

    Great! A new toy for Special Ops... I bet the SEAL teams are already asking for a stealth version.

    May 10, 2013 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • Driving G_O_D

      You're assuming they don't already have one?

      May 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  89. Jim in PA

    While the article is silent on what kind of battery this flying hybrid electric vehicle would use, it's a pretty good chance that it will be lithium ion because of the weight advantages. Hopefully Terrafugia will consult Boeing on their recent difficulties with Li batteries in aerospace applications before they get too far along in the design process. On the bright side, a vehicle this small could potentially have an emergency chute for when everything else goes wrong.

    May 10, 2013 at 9:43 am | Reply
  90. Sam

    Awesome concept, but clearly needs further development and testing to make it feasible for regular use. The price will come down significantly I'm sure but it will always be at or above the price of high end cars.

    I think that with the current and future evolution of self-driving cars this could mesh perfectly with a flying vehicle. It would take serious regulation and oversight but with the vast open space in the sky I believe that a self-piloted "flying car" would be a realistic way to safely control air traffic.

    May 10, 2013 at 9:43 am | Reply
  91. Observer

    One Apple comes out with the I-Car I'll jump on the bandwagon..

    May 10, 2013 at 9:42 am | Reply
    • Joe

      I'll wait a year or two for the GooglePlane. Definitely stay away from the MS XCar though. Don't need a 404 error or blue screen of death up in the air!

      May 10, 2013 at 10:07 am | Reply
      • Driving G_O_D

        Nerd.

        May 10, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  92. Barney

    You better fit that thing with a GIANT parachute in case things don't go exactly as planned. Given the weight of a car a parachute really could be an easy safety feature that would work well. Or not.

    May 10, 2013 at 9:38 am | Reply
    • Jim in PA

      A chute could work pretty well, especially if the car is weighted to fall in a particular orientation during a power failure. One thing is for sure, with the undoubtedly tiny wings this thing will glide about as well as a powerless helicopter. That is to say, not at all.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:45 am | Reply
      • Driving G_O_D

        The chute opens, the wind carries you into a power station. Just because a chute opens does not make it safe.

        May 10, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • vbscript2

      A chute wouldn't likely be helpful for a VTOL craft. It wouldn't have enough time to deploy in the event of a problem during VTOL operations, unless perhaps it had some kind of rocket-assisted deployment capability. You would be really close to the ground for VTOL operations. Hopefully it would have some kind of auto-rotation ability, though, like helicopters. The lack of ability to auto-rotate has been one of the biggest problems with the military's V-22 Osprey.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:46 am | Reply
      • Eric

        OK........LOL

        May 10, 2013 at 10:51 am |
      • notamuslim210

        Strangely no the lack of autorotation is nothing the Osprey drivers wory about. They have two interlinked engines which both power both rotors meaning that if either one is running the aircraft can land normally. The problem Osprey drivers have had has to do with the hovercraft style bubble of air which doesn't bleed off quickly enough when performing a verticle descent. currently their is a learning curve while the minimum forward speed is explored until or unless a better method of clearing that ground effect bubble from under the center of the fuselage during a verticle descent. When a verticle landing is performed the bubble can be strong enough to resist the aircraft's weight long enough to let the engines throttle to far down and the bubble then slides out from under the center leaving the osprey sliding over on it's side with insufficient thrust to compensate back to verticle before it slides over onto it's unprotected side, split it's wing from the root and ends tragically with all of the carnage and loss you expect when the props begin spinning through suddenly opened fuel filled wing tanks before continuing through the passenger and crew compartments. The auto-rotation is not even a thought considering that now is it?

        May 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • vbscript2

      Hmm... apparently it does have an emergency chute, though it looks like it would probably have to be deployed during normal flight (e.g. probably not during VTOL operations.) I'm not sure what the glide characteristics would be like, but one would assume it can do at least some gliding, considering it normally flies like a normal airplane. As long as you can pitch the nose down without power, you should be able to glide without power unless they design it to require particularly high speeds for flight (which I kind of doubt for this type of aircraft.)

      May 10, 2013 at 9:57 am | Reply
  93. rad666

    Unless it has VTOL capabilities, it would be worthless.

    May 10, 2013 at 9:37 am | Reply
    • vbscript2

      The whole point of the article is that it does have VTOL capabilities...

      May 10, 2013 at 9:42 am | Reply
      • rad666

        Sorry, I forgot "quiet" VTOL. The noise generated for the power needed would be unacceptable.

        May 10, 2013 at 9:49 am |
      • vbscript2

        Yeah, it would be pretty loud. Similar to a helicopter takeoff, I would imagine. Looks like it would be in a similar weight range to a normal 4-seat helicopter, so the amount of lift required should be similar.

        May 10, 2013 at 10:02 am |
      • Eric

        You guys are soooo smart...................LOL

        May 10, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Jim in PA

      Lack of vertical capability isn't essential to make this vehicle useful. This vehicle will have to land at an approved airport or heliport anyway. It's illegal to simply land an aircraft in the grocery store parking lot or on the roof of a random parking garage. So this vehicle would not so much replace local car trips as it would replace regional private plane trips. And since most communities have small airports for private planes anyway, I don't see vertical capability being a necessity. Nice, but not crucial.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:50 am | Reply
      • Optimist Prime

        You use sections of already existing roads!

        May 10, 2013 at 10:01 am |
      • vbscript2

        No, you don't use sections of existing roads. That's illegal (except in emergencies.) This thing has a VTOL capability, but it still has to be in an FAA-approved landing zone with at least a 100 ft. diameter of clear and level ground.

        May 10, 2013 at 10:04 am |
  94. meitis02

    "The ordinary 'horseless-carriage' is at present a luxury for the wealthy; and although the price will probably fall in the future, it will never, of course, come into as common use as the bicycle."

    May 10, 2013 at 9:32 am | Reply
  95. John

    At nearly $300k per unit? Clearly, for the elite and not your average consumer. Interesting concept, though.

    May 10, 2013 at 9:30 am | Reply
    • vbscript2

      Most new aircraft are in the $100k+ range. Older used ones can go for about the price of a new car, though. Jet aircraft are almost always in the millions.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:38 am | Reply
  96. Ken Hewitt

    Nice. You'll never get me off my Harley though. Ever.

    May 10, 2013 at 9:30 am | Reply
    • littlexav

      What if they had FLYING Harleys?!?

      May 10, 2013 at 9:40 am | Reply
      • Hardly-Made-It-Son

        Then the dirtbags could FLY to prison or rehab.

        May 10, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Driving G_O_D

      Move to Colorado and Il get you off three months out of the year minimum.

      May 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  97. Bob

    Sounds awesome but it will never happen. People can barely drive normal cars never mind flying ones. They'll be crashing into towers and church steeples all over the place.

    May 10, 2013 at 9:28 am | Reply
    • vbscript2

      You would have to have a pilot license to fly this aircraft, just like any other aircraft. Presumably, you'd also need some kind of extra (probably yet-to-be-created) rating from the FAA for VTOL operations. Having said that, having one of these would be awesome. Having one of the Transitions would be awesome, too, but unfortunately I don't have $300k lying around around to spend on an aircraft at the moment (or the money for the A&P maintenance, etc.) At least you don't have to pay hangar fees with those, though, so that's a significant plus.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:41 am | Reply
  98. spock

    this is why the rich want a huge divide between them and the middle class, so that they will have the skies to themselves, because only the top 1% will be able to afford flying cars. This is how they get to seclude themselves in living areas, in vacation travels spots, in air travel, etc. C'mon people, America is no longer a democracy, it is a plurocracy, our tyrannists are the tiny top 1%

    May 10, 2013 at 9:28 am | Reply
    • ron

      Your argument is logical Mr. Spock.
      However, I am surprised that you did not mention that it has certain exterior similarities to some versions of the Federation shuttle.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:49 am | Reply
    • brandon

      Shut up man im not in the richest 1% but one day i will be because i work hard and get money instead of complaining and having obama tax people and give it to you.

      May 10, 2013 at 9:50 am | Reply
      • Me 2 Won day

        Start wif lurning to type and spel, brandumb. Wurk REEL hard at it. And oh, yes, lay off drinking the TP Kook-Aid. :)

        May 10, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • ron

      For instance, note the forward 'nacelles'!

      May 10, 2013 at 9:51 am | Reply
  99. GonzoinHouston

    Don't sweat the risk of fools texting and flying in this thing. It will be an FAA-certified aircraft piloted by an FAA certified pilot, just like the Cessnas and Pipers today. As for practical, no, it won't be, and isn't intended to be. It will be a million-dollar toy for somebody with far more dollars than sense. As expensive toys and status symbols go, it will be cheaper and cooler than the ultra-expensive supercars from Ferrari, Lambo, and Bugatti. Kudos to the half-mad geniuses that are pushing the technological edge.

    May 10, 2013 at 9:28 am | Reply
    • Dee

      I am sure any idiot who can fog a mirror, cannot afford a 250,000 vehicle.......

      May 10, 2013 at 9:56 am | Reply
      • Me 2 Won day

        Not so fast.

        Who says there are no mirror-fogging halfwits out there who ALSO HAVE a quarter-mil laying around?

        You can see them any night on TV. This is America, man. Millionaire Dolt Heaven.

        May 10, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  100. Jay

    Can you imagine every little fender bender resulting in death! Talk about defensive driving. No thanks, I'll keep my wheels on the ground.

    May 10, 2013 at 9:27 am | Reply
    • john

      That would be the problem . The thing is , if someone sees this as making bazzillions of dollars then it WILL become reality .

      May 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Reply
    • Driving G_O_D

      You are Jay. People like you should not have one. Good day to you sir, I said good day!

      May 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Reply
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