It’s 2013. I’m supposed to be riding in a flying car. You are, too. That was the promise we absorbed as children, our imaginations stoked by sci-fi stories, The Jetsons and Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part II. We aren’t in flying cars yet, however, which is why every scrap of news related to them is another ray of childish hope. The latest news has those rays flying around in abundance.
Terrafugia, the company that debuted its street-legal Transition flying car at last year’s New York Auto Show, says it’s moving on to the next step and working on “feasibility studies” to make our dreams of flying cars a reality.
The company announced this week that it’s working on the TF-X to see if it can figure out a way to build a car that’s capable of vertical takeoffs and landings, reports CNN’s What Next blog. It would be a four-seat, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle — can’t you just imagine George Jetson behind the wheel/steering thingamajig?
“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!”
Exclamation point, indeed.
While Terrafugia’s Transition (which goes for $279,000) is already kind of a flying car, it’s meant to go in and out of airports and is seen by many as a sort of light aircraft, instead of a car.
The TF-X, on the other hand, could take off from anywhere — a roof, your backyard, the mall parking lot after picking daughter, Judy — and would feature automated systems for taking off and landing. Drivers could take over manual control at anytime.
As for the Federal Aviation Administration, which might see fleets of flying cars as yet another headache it doesn’t want, Terrafugia says it’s had “preliminary conversations” with the agency, and the FAA sounds like it’s willing to work with them to make this a reality.
Please, please make it happen, guys. My inner child will just flip out in gratitude.
Is this (finally) our flying car? [CNN What’s Next Blog]