Ditch the Airlines, buy a flying car!

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Whendoublewidesfly, Apr 8, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Whendoublewidesfly

    Whendoublewidesfly Silver Member

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    (copied from here)
    THE FUTURE IS NOW! Airlines are out and the flying car is here! The Transition by Terrafugia Inc. last week said they flew their flying car for 8 minutes at a low 1,400 feet, only 32,000 feet lower than the typical Boeing 747. The Transition flying car has fold up wings, 2 seats, and 4 wheels known and can be driven like a car or flown like a small plane.


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    The car has about 100 orders already but will probably never become part of mainstream American consumerism because the price tag for the Transition currently sits around $279,000--the same price of a mini mansion in Kansas!

    The Government has been very helpful in getting the Transition off the ground and has even allowed Terragufia to use special tires and glass that are lighter than normal, which less weight means it's easier for the vehicle to fly. The government has also temporarily exempted the Transition from the requirement to equip vehicles with electronic stability control, which would add about six pounds to the vehicle. The last hurdle will be government crash tests to ensure it meets federal safety standards. Furthermore, Terrafugia was helped by the Federal Aviation Administration's decision five years ago to create a separate set of standards for light sport aircraft. The standards govern the size and speed of the plane and licensing requirements for pilots, which are less restrictive than requirements for pilots of larger planes. Terrafugia says an owner would need to pass a test and complete 20 hours of flying time to be able to fly the Transition, a extremely low hurdle for pilots.

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    The Transition can only reach around 70 miles per hour on the ground and would have difficulty keeping up with traffic on the 405 in the LA area where drivers prefer a constant speed of 85mph (when there's no traffic) and 115mph in the air. On the ground, it gets 35 miles per gallon and when flying it flies using a 23-gallon tank of automotive fuel and burns 5 gallons per hour in the air. So your total flying time could not be more than 4 hours, nor more than LA to San Francisco (depending on cross winds)

    However, if you're like me and you're in the LA area and you're looking for a solution to Traffic, the Transition will not be it. Sadly the plane does require a runway to take off and land (I still think I could get from Long Beach to Santa Monica faster by flying between the two than the 405 on Monday mornings). So Californians your Jetson dreams are shattered, if you want to beat traffic stay on your motorcycles!

    IF you looking for a sneak peak and live in the NYC area, check the Transition out at the NYC Auto Show
     
  2. Jimgotkp
    Original Member

    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    If I earn every mile that is on my odometer and it can be credited to the FFP of my choice then sure!
     
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  3. kyunbit
    Original Member

    kyunbit Silver Member

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    5 gallons per mile.. eek
     
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  4. Casey Friday
    Original Member

    Casey Friday Silver Member

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    per hour*
    :)
     
  5. Santander

    Santander Silver Member

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    5 gph on mogas is pretty good, better than a C150/152 and with similar performance.

    The takeoff/landing attitude of the plane concerns me. Since you can't really rotate this car/plane on takeoff it requires you to takeoff and land at higher than normal speeds which is pretty much demonstrated by the less than graceful takeoff/landing in the demonstration video.

    The last thing I'd want to do with a plane is drive it around on the road where it'd inevitably get banged up and I certainly wouldn't park it anywhere but a garage out of fear that people would touch something they aren't supposed to. I'm assuming the hours you run the Rotax engine (the laughing-stock of general aviation) on the ground while driving count towards total engine time as well (which makes sense), meaning that you'd really be burning money because of maintenance/overhaul costs. If you thought auto maintenance was expensive, try aircraft maintenance!
     

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