Flying cars used to be fictional. This means of transportation used to be something that existed only in our imaginations. Today, we can proudly say that this is no longer the case. Thanks to innovators, inventors, engineers and a lot of hard work, flying cars do not just exist in our minds—but at least two now exist on the streets and in the skies.
Prototypes of self-driving pods and improved New York City cabs weren’t the only outstanding highlights at the New York International Auto Show this year. The main feature was this: the world’s first flying car.
Terrafugia, an American aviation company, announced that the prototype of the “Transition Street Airplane” accomplished its first ever flight in Plattsburgh, New York last March 23. The Transition, which has four wheels, two seats and collapsible wings, looks very much like a traditional car—but with the wings of an airplane.
The Transition has a flying range of about 400 miles, with a top speed of 105 miles per hour, whether on land or in the skies.
Terrafugia claims that they’ve already acquired 100 orders, which means that you should be seeing a number of these flying cars in just a few months.
The Transition will cost approximately $279,000. This plane isn’t just meant for the skies—it’s meant to be legal on the streets, too. If things go according to schedule, this mini-plane will be available for purchase by the end of 2012.
Amazingly and oddly enough, a Dutch company made a similar announcement that very same week. The PAL-V, which stands for Personal Air and Land Vehicle, is a half-car and half-plane hybrid that promises to easily and quickly cruise down the highway and in the sky.
The PAL-V doesn’t need a lot of room to get off the ground thanks to its impressive rotor. It boasts of a flying range between 315 to 350 miles, and boasts of a top speed of 110 miles per hour both on the ground and in the air.
In order to fly, the Personal Air and Land Vehicle makes use of impressive gyroplane technology, and is equipped with collapsible rotors for when it is used on land. While commercial jets fly at altitudes of 30,000 to 50,000 feet, the PAL-V only flies up to an altitude of roughly 4,000 feet.
This three-wheeled vehicle has been in the works since 2008, and the people behind PAL-V are aiming for it to be available in the market in 2014. It will sell at $300,000, and probable customers for this European Air and Land Vehicle will range from private citizens to the police and rescue services.
The future seems bright for flying cars. Thanks to the groundbreaking Transition and PAL-V, flying cars may just be the norm one day. We just may need to set new air traffic rules, while citizens will definitely need a pilot’s certificate or license of sorts. If you’ve got $300,000 to spare, then the sky is the limit for you!
About the Author:
Kristine M. is a writer who mostly focuses on providing tips in dealing with the various conveniences in modern technology. In her spare time, Kristine helps in the blogging and administration activities of a Broadband Expert Group, a high speed internet provider company. To learn more interesting internet tips, watch out for her next post.