car that looks like a plane that looks like a car took off from a small
airport in New York. The “roadable aircraft” is from a Boston based
company called Terrafugia, which means “escape from land” in Latin. The
designer and Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich has spent the past decade
working on the project. In 2006 he won a $30,000 design award from the
Massacheusettes Institute of Technology. He said his inspiration was to
do something about America’s crowded highways and airports. Dietrich
said: "This flight is a symbol of a new freedom in aviation. It's what
enthusiasts have been striving for since 1918."
The two-seater Transition can take off and land at airports and drive on
any road. The US government said it is officially a light sport
aircraft and not a car. The flying car has wings that fold up for use on
the road. It is around 5.8 metres long and 2 metres wide. Terrafugia
hopes to start selling the Transition in 2011. The selling price will be
between $150,000 and $200,000. There are already more than forty orders
for it. Dietrich is excited about the Transition’s future. He told
reporters: "This breakthrough changes the world of personal mobility.
Travel now becomes a hassle-free integrated land-air experience.” It is
not yet clear whether traffic police or air traffic control will handle
the dozens, perhaps hundreds or thousands, of flying cars.