Looking for better fuel economy…try the Transition

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fuel economic flying car

Image by loimere

These days, ways to get better fuel economy are no longer tightly-kept secrets.  You can get a hybrid, get an electric vehicle, use a proven fuel additive, keep your tires properly inflated, drive smarter, etc.  The list could go on and on with each one assisting in getting better fuel economy.

The Terrafugia company, however, is taking this idea to all new heights….literally.  Terrafugia, a start-up firm founded in 2006 by MIT students, has been working on developing a flying car.  The Transition® is expected to hit the market in 2010 and already 40+ orders have been placed.

Now, not only is this a flying car, but it has some special features that Terrafugia hopes will put their car a cut above the rest:

  • It has a fuel tank of 20 gallons and apparently gets up to 500 flying miles on one tank of unleaded gas.  (Just imagine what it could get with a good fuel additive.)
  • On the road it gets 30 mpg and can go 65 mph. (That’s better mpg than a lot of the vehicles on the road today.)
  • In the air it can cruise at 100 kts (115 mph)
  • It has front wheel drive on the ground and you can get in and out of the car, just like a regular automobile.
  • It fits two people, side by side
  • It has an automated electromechanical folding wing feature that allows the winds to fold up in about 15 seconds to either drive on the road or park it in a regular garage – no hanger needed.  (So you could just pull out of your garage, drive to the airport, fly off to where you wanted to go, fly back, land and drive it straight home…nice!)
  • It also has automotive crash safety features (for those of you who were wondering about its road safety features).

My only question is what doesn’t this flying car have?  It seems like a great solution to both fuel economy and transportation needs.  The only noticeable downside is the cost…$10,000 reservation deposit and estimated purchase price of $194,000.  But just think of the convenience, and with the ability to become a Sport Pilot in as little as 20 hours of flight time (in a Transition-specific course), it might just be worth the investment.

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