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Why Drive When You Can Fly?

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On: Mon, Oct 14, 2013 at 3:02PM | By: Karen Cook

Why Drive When You Can Fly?

It was only a matter of time. Since the first literary geniuses invented the concept of a flying car, humanity has been waiting for one. Well, now you can reserve yours from a company called Terrafugia. Their tagline is Driven to Fly. According to their website the average commuter spends five hours a week stuck in traffic and more than a million people die in auto related accidents every year. Their answer is the flying automobile.

The Transition is a street-legal personal airplane that converts from driving to flying in under a minute. This is good news if the weather up there is bad. Just land and drive for a while. Another selling point is that you can drive to a take-off point, fly to your destination, and be able to drive at the other end without taxis or rental cars. It is the only personal aircraft that meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (again, according to their website) and fits in a single-car garage.

They haven’t forgotten passenger safety either. The vehicle comes standard with a huge airbag (otherwise known as a parachute) for emergencies. The website doesn’t say how many of these you get; it does state that this is a four-seat craft. Hopefully there are enough devices for everyone on board.

As if all this convenience and cool technology weren’t enough, the Transition is also a hybrid, so it’s friendly to the atmosphere you’re “driving” in. The takeoff and landing is vertical so it doesn’t require much space and it’s authorized to land in over 5,000 airports nationwide. Hopefully there’s one close to where you want to go.

All this sounds great, but is this really the answer to our congested highway problems? I mean doesn’t this just transfer the traffic from the roadways to the skies? The website touts the superior safety of personal aircraft, which is presumably true until there is actual traffic up there. The probability of dying from a relatively minor fender bender at that height seems to be a major issue to me.

However, if you want one, it seems they are only around the corner. No word yet on what one will cost and I can’t imagine your local repair shop will know what to do with one for quite some time yet. Still, I imagine it’s the car of the future and our great grandchildren will hear us talk about the good old days when we took “road trips”. Hmmm, I wonder where the hitchhikers will stand?

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