It’s Almost 2013, Where is my Flying Car?!?!
Remember the movie Back To The Future II? Yes, the first one was better, but the second film in the trilogy gave us a glimpse into what the world might become. The movie gave a comically futuristic look of how the world would change from 1985 to 2015 and, surprisingly, some of what was predicted to be in 2015 has already come true. Computer tablets (iPad), holograms (TuPac) and a baseball team in Miami (maybe not for much longer) all exist in today’s world. However, by far the most intriguing aspect of the movie was seeing a world being dominated by flying vehicles, and it is only set three years from present day. There is no excuse for this, it was in the movie and therefore it should be true. Now, understand our needs here at Empire Covers for personalized hover boards currently exceed our need to breathe, but what about flying cars? Hasn’t the technology supposedly been around the corner for decades? In short: Where are our flying cars?!?!
Actually, they may be right around the corner. In fact, you can put down a deposit to own a flying car that is in its final phasing of testing. There have been numerous designs of flying vehicles in many different shapes and forms, but only one has been officially proclaimed street legal and will soon be on sale to the general public: Terrafugia’s Transition.
Award-winning MIT engineers and designers have been working on the Transition since 2006 and it’s finally almost ready for the masses. The flying car is classified as a light-sport aircraft that travels at top speeds of 51mph on the ground and 115mph in the air. It features a two seat cockpit along with retractable wings that fold up when the vehicle is being used as a normal car. The Transition can travel 425 miles in the air while only burning 5 gallons per hour. Traveling on the ground makes it one of the most fuel efficient cars on the road as it 35 miles per gallon. There is some room for storage, too, as the description for the car on Terrafugia’s website states that “cargo area holds golf clubs.” Because why drive to the golf course when you can fly?
So what’s stopping everyone from buying the Transition and instantly soar above the clouds majestically in a state of pure bliss? Well, a lot. For one the cost to purchase the Transition is not in the normal working class’ ballpark. The price is currently set at $279,000 which includes a $10,000 refundable deposit to hold the vehicle. Plus you can imagine that the high insurance rates, dual inspections for both the cars and airplane, and the general upkeep will ultimately jack up the price.
Another major concern is safety. It’s frustrating enough if you blow a gasket in your car on a major highway, but imagine if that happened at 10,000 ft? Not even the “full vehicle parachute” that’s included would keep people from having to change into another pair of pants, and that’s if they survive the plunge.
But, ultimately, the issue comes down to convenience. It is amazing that we now have the technology to make car/aircraft hybrids, but in reality Terrafugia’s concept is only unique for pilots who wouldn’t want to keep their plane in the hanger. You still have to drive to the airport to take off and land the plane back down on a runway. This vehicle isn’t helpful for the flying car images we have in mind like if we’re stuck in a traffic jam and can take off vertically then jet away leaving everyone in the dust. There is virtually no urban appeal to the Transition because of that notion. It’s probably can be described better as a drivable plane than a flying car.
It’s a shame, but it seems like the flying car is still a couple of designs away from being conducive for everyday people to use. But there’s still two years to get something done before Back To The Future’s predictions are wrong and we all suffer under the collapse of the space-time continuum.
Make it happen, science.
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