About Damn Time: Science Finally Gives Us The Flying Car

If Back to the Future, The Fifth Element and The Jetsons have taught us anything, it’s that our future will contain flying cars. There is no doubt about this. It’s a fait accompli as certain as Death Stars and the robotic uprising that will destroy humanity.

Admit it, when you envisioned the year 2009 as a kid you saw flying cars. And are unspeakably disappointed that the vision did not come to pass. Well, 32-year-old MIT grad Carl Dietrich was also pissed about the lack of such wonders, but unlike you he’s actually gone and done something about it. The man has built a sky-ride with potential to get this party started.

The Orlando Sentinel’s Steven Cole Smith reported that Dietrich’s Terrafugia Transition flying car, which can cut people off on the street or in the air, converting between the two in 20 seconds at the touch of a wing-sprouting button, has had six test flights so far, including one March 5 in New York.

But you can’t have it. Yet, anyway. Dietrich plans to begin deliveries at the end of 2011. The price: $194,000. A refundable deposit of $10,000 will hold your place in line. He’d like to sell maybe 200 a year but can make money at half that volume.

It will take 20 hours of flight training to get behind the wheel, because the vehicle will be classified as a light sport aircraft by the Federal Aviation Administration. But after a lifetime of longing, what’s 20 more hours?

Flying car is no pie-in-sky dream [Orlando Sentinel]
(Photo: Steven Cole Smith, Orlando Sentinel)

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