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World's first flying car a breakthrough, but many problems remain unsolved

07-15-2010 08:46 BJT

LOS ANGELES, July 14 (Xinhua) -- World's first flying car is a breakthrough and will possibly change future transportation, but experts pointed out that problems need to be addressed before cars can really fly at will.

World's first flying car is a breakthrough and will possibly change future transportation, but experts pointed out that problems need to be addressed before cars can really fly at will. (Photo: ce.cn)
World's first flying car is a breakthrough and will possibly change 
future transportation, but experts pointed out that problems need to 
be addressed before cars can really fly at will. (Photo: ce.cn)

The world's first flying car manufactured by Terrafugia Transition in the U.S. state of Massachusetts got approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently, which marks a milestone to realize the dream for drivers to have the cars flying.

The FAA allowed Terrafugia Transition to sell and operate such flying cars in the United States.

It's a 1,440-pound car and plane hybrid with retractable wings. It is designed to drive on public roadways and park in a standard garage. Drivers can go to any gas station to add gas for their flying cars. It can take off and land in any small airports.

The flying car's formal name is Transition Roadable Aircraft. It is classified as a Light Sport Aircraft. Therefore, it is first an aircraft, than it is a car. It requires a Sport Pilot certificate to fly and a driver's license to drive on the road.

Richard Gersh, Vice President of Business Development at Terrafugia Transition, told Xinhua that he is proud that the world 's first flying car was manufactured by his company.

He said in 2006, five graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) formed the company, Terrafugia, and turned the dream of a flying car into reality.

"Terrafugia" is Latin for "escape from land" and Terrafugia's mission is the innovative expansion of personal mobility.

Gersh said flying cars will be accepted by more people. Right now 70 people have placed their orders and those orders of flying cars, which costs 194,000 dollars each, will be delivered next year.

Getting licensed to drive and fly a Terrafugia Transition requires 20 hours of seat time, and the vehicle gets a maximum airspeed of 115 mph with a maximum range of 460 miles. It only needs a 1/3 mile runway to take off -- much less than the ordinary small aircraft.


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