This is not fiction. Flying cars are moving closer to reality.
Terrafugia’s roadable aircraft, the Transition
, is one example. The production prototype of the Transition Street-Legal Airplane has completed its first flight at Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, NY, on March 23. The same vehicle has also conducted initial drive and conversion testing.
Developed by Terrafugia, Inc., a Massachusetts-based company whose name means “escape the Earth” in Latin, the Transition is a two-seat personal aircraft capable of driving on roads and highways, parking in a single car garage, and flying with unleaded automotive fuel. Terrafugia said the anticipated base price for the Transition is $279,000.
Specifications can be found here
(Click on image to access the video)
In the meantime, the Dutch company PAL-V Europe NV has concluded test flights of its prototype “flying car”, PAL-V One (Personal Air and Land Vehicle)
, at the Gilze Rijen Airport, in the Netherlands.
The patented vehicle flies in the air like a gyrocopter with lift generated by an auto-rotating rotor and forward speed produced by a foldable push propeller on the back. On the road, it drives like a sports car. No new infrastructure is required because it uses existing roads and airstrips. The next step will be the design of the first commercial production model of the PAL-V, and first deliveries are expected in 2014, the company said.
(Click on image to access the video
Third example: The EU-funded project myCopter
will set up a second project meeting in June to discuss the progress and align research goals.
MyCopter project, led by the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Germany, aims to to create a personal air vehicle (PAV) for public transport in crowded cities. Project partners intend to test different concepts for a partially autonomous, vertical-take-off-and-landing vehicle, using computer simulations, UAVs, and a helicopter.
Research for this four-year project will include the development of new automation technologies for obstacle avoidance, path planning and formation flying, which also have excellent potential for other aerospace applications.
Additional info can be found here
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