Feeds

World's first proper flying car makes debut flight

Here's your flying car

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The Terrafugia Transition "roadable aircraft" - the nearest thing to a flying car yet built - has made its first test flight.

Terrafugia says that the flight took place on March 5, and will hold a media briefing at 1430 UK time. Meanwhile pictures of the flight are available on the company's website.

The Terrafugia Transition flies

Now. Where's my robot/brainchip-monkey butler?

Company test pilot Phil Meteer, a retired air force colonel, is quoted by AVWeb as saying:

"The first flight was remarkably unremarkable. I've flown several thousand hours in everything from Piper Cubs to F-16s, and the Transition flew like a really nice airplane."

In aircraft terms, the Transition is a light two-seater aircraft intended to fit within the new US "light sport" category. A light-sport pilot's licence is easier and cheaper to acquire than a normal private pilot's ticket, and medical red tape is reduced. Cruise airspeed of 115 knots is expected, range of 450 miles and "highway speed" on the ground.

The Transition has most of the weaknesses of light aircraft, in that it can't easily be flown through poor weather, bad visibility or restricted airspace (as found above cities, for instance). Users needing to get through such obstacles will need to land at a suitable strip nearby, just as a normal private pilot in a Piper Tomahawk might.

The difference is what happens next. The Transition driver has no concern with finding an aircraft parking spot, getting hold of taxi or hire car etc. Instead, he or she presses a button. The wings fold up in less than thirty seconds, and the Transition drives out of the airport gate and makes the rest of the journey by road.

If the weather gets worse and a takeoff for the return flight is impossible, no bother - simply drive home on the ground, all the way if necessary.

Terrafugia still has the process of light-sport certification before it, and road-legal clearance from the National Highways and Transportation Safety Administration. However the Transition has already undergone extensive ground tests, and company execs seem confident.

"This breakthrough changes the world of personal mobility," Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich told AVWeb. "Travel now becomes a hassle-free integrated land-air experience. It's what aviation enthusiasts have been striving for since 1918." ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.