Flying car to be unveiled in 2011 (With Image)

June 24th, 2009 - 1:43 pm ICT by IANS  

By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, June 24 (IANS) The flying car is on its way.

An American company Terrafugia Transition, based near Boston, is set to unveil the dual-purpose car-cum-plane vehicle called ‘The Flying Car’ as early as 2011. The two-seater vehicle can let you fly if you wish to avoid the congested city traffic.

If you want to drive on the road, just touch the road. The vehicle will fold up its wings in 30 seconds and transform itself into a car.

“The Flying Car” can travel up to 725 kilometres in the air at a speed of more than 115 kilometres per hour.

Fuelled by gasoline, it has front wheel drive on the road and a propeller for flight.

With its wings folded, it can be parked in your ordinary car garage.

Its initial cost is expected to be around $200,000 (nearly Rs.1 crore), says the company which has already orders for 60 vehicles.

The CEO of the company told Canadian TV (CTV) network here that they have successfully test-flown “The Flying Car” as many as 28 times.

The tests have shown that the vehicle can drive, fly and switch from being a plane to a car in just 30 seconds.

“It (testing) has been very successful,” Carl Dietrich, co-founder and CEO of Terrafugia, told the television network.

He said: ” We have got a very good handling vehicle and our test pilot said that the flights were just remarkably unremarkable - it just flies like a really nice, little airplane.”

He said this miracle vehicle will ease problems for pilots who currently face problems like weather which sometimes doesn’t allow them to take off or land.

“This vehicle allows a pilot any time, if the weather changes, to divert to the nearest airport, fold up their wings and drive safely under the weather.”

Company vice president Richard Gersh told IANS: “The Transition (the name for “The Flying Car”) is not designed to replace the automobile. However, it will solve transportation issues for a variety of circumstances.”

Asked whether the vehicle will be mass produced one day, he said: “That is certainly a possibility, but a number of years away.”

He said the vehicle will be able travel on ordinary roads.

“Our depositors represent a wide-cross section in terms of age, interests, and intended use of the vehicle. We have deposits from both experienced pilots and non-pilots who intend to earn their Sport Pilot certificate,” said the vice president of Terrafugia.

Set up in 2006, Terrafugia is run by trained aeronautical engineers and MBAs from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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