Did you order your flying car yet?

Doctor Q

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Terrafugia Inc. is taking deposits for the Transition, the flying car it expects to deliver in late 2009. The price is a mere $148,000 and only a small 5% deposit (that's $7,400) is necessary to reserve one now.

It's not actually a car that flies as much as it is a plane you can drive home. You can see an
animation of how the wings fold up
or a landing animation.

They don't seem to come in multiple colors, however, so how will I tell my Transition from the one my next-door neighbor buys? Perhaps my "FLYING Q" license plate will be the only way to distinguish them.
 

IJ Reilly

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Jul 16, 2002
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If this airplane performs as specified, $148,000 is quite reasonable -- right around the cost of most new GA airplanes in this class (which are not roadable!).

The lack of details, including the lack of any interior photos (the panel, in particular) makes me wonder how far along they really are in development. Obtaining a type certificate from the FAA alone takes years. They don't talk about type certification at all, which makes me suspicious.
 

kainjow

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Jun 15, 2000
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And what would stop someone from strapping a bomb on themself and flying one of these things into a buildling? :rolleyes: No way this would be happening in 2009.
 

xsedrinam

macrumors 601
Oct 21, 2004
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And back to the correct runway scenario, it's disquieting to think about what's involved with air traffic control giving clearance for takeoff on east bound I-40. :p
 

wordmunger

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Sep 3, 2003
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I think this is a solution in search of a problem. You can buy a better plane and a better car for less money. The only time this might be handy is if you were flying to a remote airport and needed a way to get into civilization. But even then, I don't think this thing would handle very well on rough roads.
 

Doctor Q

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kainjow said:
And what would stop someone from strapping a bomb on themself and flying one of these things into a buildling?
That's the same problem as with any private plane. But the problem is proportionally smaller than with large commecial planes.

wordmunger said:
I think this is a solution in search of a problem. You can buy a better plane and a better car for less money. The only time this might be handy is if you were flying to a remote airport and needed a way to get into civilization. But even then, I don't think this thing would handle very well on rough roads.
I imagine that these are for high-salary types, for whom time=money, trying to save every second on their commute. They would never park at an airport and take a shuttle to/from a parking lot, so this choice would compete with having a taxi or limo waiting at each airport they go to. And it'll certainly make you Mr. Cool or Ms. Cool to have one!

I wonder if it comes with OnStar?
 

Sun Baked

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May 19, 2002
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CyberB0b said:
I'll wait for a Mr. Fusion and hover conversion.
While you are waiting, are you going to cryonically preserve your head? or splurge on the whole body?

Because that whole body thing has me nervous, since they may use you as a frozen organ bank and take all your trust money... damn clever thieves.

---

Don't know if I'd risk driving that on the road, but it would make storing the thing easier at the airfield.
 

IJ Reilly

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wordmunger said:
I think this is a solution in search of a problem. You can buy a better plane and a better car for less money. The only time this might be handy is if you were flying to a remote airport and needed a way to get into civilization. But even then, I don't think this thing would handle very well on rough roads.
It makes better sense to think of this as a roadable airplane than a flying car (although the latter sounds sexier). As a pilot, I'd be very interested in a roadworthy airplane. It would solve a number of major issues we face when flying. For instance, I was planning on flying to a nearby city this afternoon for a weekend event, but the weather forecast at that airport on Sunday (the return day) looks dicey. It might work out fine, but I could just as easily be stranded there for hours waiting for the coastal stratus to clear, assuming it does. So I'll drive instead. Bummer. Now, if I had a roadworthy airplane, I'm flying for certain.

Also, pilots are forever trying to solve the problem of how to get from the airport (not usually in the middle of town!) to anywhere else. You either spend a lot of time familiarizing yourself with the local public transportation, or you spend a lot of money on cabs. Or you spend a lot of time walking, carrying your bags on your back. All of these are suboptimal experiences.

Unfortunately, many of these "flying car" ideas have come and gone over the years, and I don't have much hope that this one will get any further towards actual production. FWIW, the previously mentioned Moller Skycar is even more ambitious, and consequently even less likely to succeed.
 

Doctor Q

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My plan is to use my flying car mostly on the ground. When the cars in front of me are too slow, I'll simply go up and over them. :)

I still have lots of questions: Is it okay to keep talking on my cell phone and poking the radio buttons looking for rock music as I drive/fly? Will I need to upgrade my console GPS system to 3D? If I blow a tire on the road do I call the Auto Club or the FAA?
 

IJ Reilly

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Doctor Q said:
My plan is to use my flying car mostly on the ground. When the cars in front of me are too slow, I'll simply go up and over them. :)
I think this is why some people buy Hummers.

Minimum takeoff roll for the Transition is 1,500 feet IIRC. No way are you going to get that much room in front of you on an LA Freeway!

BTW, like your new location. Some people must be going backwards. ;)
 

IJ Reilly

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aricher said:
I think they were selling the Skycar in the Neiman Marcus catalog last Christmastime. Delivery date pending.
It's always "pending." That's the problem. The most recently successful all-new GA airplane, the Cirrus SR-20, was three years between the first prototype and the issuance of a type certificate from the FAA. This process takes a long time and requires lots of capitalization, which is tough to find given the risks that have always been associated with aviation projects. These guys don't even have a prototype yet. No way are they going to be ready to sell in 2009.

Old joke: How do you make a big fortune in aviation? Start with a huge fortune.
 

IJ Reilly

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floriflee said:
I'll wait for the FAA or whoever to figure out how they're going to regulate flying car traffic. Will we have lanes? Stop lights? Yields? I keep picturing traffic on "The Jetsons." :D
I know Moller envisions highways in the sky dedicated to unpiloted aircraft, but in fact "flying car" is just another name for "airplane." The FAA already knows how to regulate air traffic.
 

xsedrinam

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Oct 21, 2004
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IJ Reilly said:
I know Moller envisions highways in the sky dedicated to unpiloted aircraft, but in fact "flying car" is just another name for "airplane." The FAA already knows how to regulate air traffic.
Now, if along with the highways in the sky development, they'll design fly-in Marie Callender's floating stations, we could all look forward to pie in the sky. :)
 

Mr.Clock

macrumors newbie
Aug 29, 2006
15
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alright that firt car looks gay the skycar looks like awesome crud like a jet car lol. Anyway if i had a car that could fly lol id break the law alot :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:Dits easy rob the bank and have fun with the cops when they see ur weird car they follow u lol put the wings out and fly away lol and while there shooting at ur flying car u toss crap at them :D plus i mean all they have are helicopter police and lol cant catch a plane. Lol just fly away to another country for a wihle then come back
 

Doctor Q

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Remember this thread?

Terrafugia is still promising the Transition flying car! Now they say
First customer delivery is anticipated to be in Q4 2011.​
I'm not holding my breath.
 

Ttownbeast

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May 10, 2009
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Used for a little small scale drug trafficking (if the thing has a decent amount of cargo space) it could pay for itself in a matter of months :D