Flying car gets OK from FAA

Flying car gets OK from FAA

Credit: Terrafugia

The Terrafugia Transition and chase plane flying in formation.

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by TRAVIS PITTMAN / KING5.com

NWCN.com

Posted on June 30, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 30 at 3:52 PM

SEATTLE – Ever since we first saw George Jetson taking Jane, Judy and Elroy to school, people have dreamed of driving a flying car.

As of today, it's a reality.

The Federal Aviation Administration has granted an exemption to the Terrafugia Transition, a flying car built by a team of MIT engineers.

The Transition is classified as a Light Sport Aircraft. It's maximum takeoff weight is1,430 pounds, which is 110 pounds more than the limit for an LSA. But the FAA is signing off on it because the extra weight is needed to make accommodations for structure and safety modifications required by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

The car-plane can reach a cruising speed of 115 mph. The 20-gallon fuel tank uses regular-octane gas. On the road, Terrafugia says it can get 30 miles-per-gallon. In addition to a full avionics package, the Transition comes complete with a parachute.

As a car, the wings fold up so it can park in a standard-size garage. It also has airbags, an energy absorbing crumple zone and a safety cage.

Potential pilots only need 20 hours of practice in Transition-specific courses before being granted a license to fly it.

Why does someone need a flying car? Terrafugia says one of the advantages for pilots comes during bad weather. Instead of flying through or around a storm, you can drive under it.

So how much will this cost you? The expected asking price is $194,000. If you're interested, you can put a $10,000 deposit down at the company's website.

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