World's first flying car gets green signal to take-off
Toronto: The world's first flying car, which was caught in a legal snarl in the U.S., has finally been given the green signal.
Being developed by Boston-based Terrafugia Transition since 2006, the dual-purpose car-cum-plane vehicle called 'the flying car' has got the waiver on its weight from the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Under FAA rules, the flying car - categorised as a 'light sport' aircraft - was required to be strictly under 1,320 pounds in weight. But with the addition of car safety features such as airbags, crumple zones and a safety cage, the vehicle overshot the weight-limit.
With the FAA now relaxing the rules for its weight, the decks have been cleared for the flying car - a two-seater named Transition - to take-off next year.
"Our schedule calls for the first delivery to be made prior to the end of 2011. We currently have in excess of 70 orders, which is about a two-year backlog," Richard Gersh, vice president for Terrafugia, told IANS.
Asked whether it was big corporates or individuals who have placed orders, Gersh said, "They are generally pilots who either own planes or have owned planes in the past."
About about their plans to raise production, he said: "Low volume production will take place in the Boston area. No decisions have been made for other production plans."
Costing about $200,000, the flying car will travel up to 725 km in the air at a speed of more than 115 km per hour.
Fuelled by gasoline, it will have front-wheel drive on the road and a propeller for flight. With its wings folded, it can be parked in an ordinary car garage. The company claims the flying car has been successfully test-flown many times.
It says tests have shown that the vehicle can drive, fly and switch from being a plane to a car in just 30 seconds.