George Jetson might not be impressed, but a new car/airplane hybrid that is slated to debut later this week at the New York Auto Show might be the closest thing America has ever seen to a viable flying car.
The vehicle/plane, produced by Massachusetts-based Terrafugia Inc., has a prototype of their — whatever we’re going to call it – that 100 people have already put down $10,000 deposits to buy (it will cost about $279,000 at retail, though you can surely get the salesman to knock a couple hundred off the price or throw in a set of floor mats).
The Washington Post had the full scoop on the flying car in its Monday edition.
The specs of the flying car, which is actually called “The Transition,” are actually pretty impressive. It can apparently hit about 70 mph on the highway and 115 mph in the air. It has a 23-gallon fuel tank and runs on automotive fuel from your corner gas station. When in plane-mode, the Transition can fly about 12 minutes on a gallon of fuel. It gets 35 mpg on the ground.
The actual market for The Transition is hard to gauge. Sure, most everyone would say they want a flying car, but the fact that you need a runway to take off is going to be a deal killer for those 9-to-5′ers who are looking to zip above the highway and zoom past all those suckers with land-dwelling cars. That being said, the technology has to start somewhere, and if enough people purchase The Transition, it might inspire other inventors to refine the idea and we could eventually get to something that even George Jetson would fly…I mean drive.