The US firm has stated that the Transition will be on sale within a year and it has already taken around 100 orders for it at a pre-sale price of US$279,000. Better get that order in while the Aussie dollar is strong if you want to save a few extra bucks!
If you want to buy the Transition, there is nothing stopping you, price tag aside. But you won’t be able to use the flying feature of the vehicle unless you have a valid pilots license and 20-hours of flying time under your belt. While the Transition makes it seem like you will be able to glide over traffic if you find yourself closing up on a jam, the reality is not quite like that.
The Transition, which has collapsible wings, will need at least 762 metres of runway before you’re able to take flight. And then you have to take into consideration the take off angle as well. With traffic as it is in most Australian cities, it’s going to be pretty tough to find a bit of road that long without something in the way.
To be fair, Terrafugia is really intending this to be a vehicle for pilots who want a bit more convenience in terms of light plane storage. You no longer have to leave it in a hanger at the airport, you just collapse the wings and drive it home to park in the garage. You will be able to fly just shy of 800 kilometres before having to top off the tank.
Don’t like the look of the Terrafugia? Don’t worry, there are a couple of other companies throwing big money into the flying car game. Dutch company PAL-V is testing a prototype gyrocopter style car while Moller International, based in the USA, is looking at vertical take off options. Now the latter could really be handy if you got stuck in a traffic jam. PAL-V hopes to have its gyrocopter ready for 2014.
Damian Francis has previously edited Australian T3 and F1 Racing magazine and wrote for GQ Australia and Men’s Health. Unlike Nick and Trev, he has no kids, no mortgage and no wife, but lives happily on Sydney’s North Shore with his girlfriend.