World's First Flying Car Takes Off

Traffic jams might be soon history as the world's first "flying car" has just made its debut flight and everything turned out well.

The Transition Roadable Aircraft Proof of Concept coming from Terrafugia, also known as the world's first "flying car" is a two-seat aircraft designed to take off and land at local airports and drive on any road as well. After six months of static, road and taxi testing, the Transition finally left the road and took to the air to watch the traffic jams from above. The first flight was assumed by retired Phil Meteer, Colonel, at Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, NY.

"I've flown several thousand hours in everything from Piper Cubs to F-16s, and the Transition flew like a really nice airplane," he told AVWeb.

The Transition changes from plane to car in just 30 seconds and can soar 400 miles through the air on a single tank of gas, with a cruising speed of 115 mph. The vehicle has front wheel drive on the road and a propeller for flight but no matter the mode, it uses unleaded gasoline from a regular gas station.

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

When the flying car touches ground, the pilot has to press a button and the wings fold up. After that, he/she will be in control of a two-seater four-wheel car which he/she can drive on the highway.

What's more, due to its improved safety features, pilots can drive the plane-car under bad weather as well. In addition, the flying car is easy to be stored as it fits in a standard household garage.

However, since not everything is all roses, the contraption is categorized as a light sport aircraft so enthusiasts will need a sport pilot license to fly. Almost needless to say, the Transition Roadable Aircraft Proof of Concept won't be a cheap vehicle to buy as it will cost $194,000 (about £139,000) at launch.

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