The objects we were promised in our youth to one day revolutionize the quality of our lives seemed at the time like magical promises for a future where technology would solve all of our problems. The last thing many expected was a year 2000 where flying cars were still little more than a dream and communication happened with some regularity over the Internet.
Mankind never went back to the Moon and the promise of a human led mission to Mars was just as much on the horizon as ever. But finally, the iconic object of the future and the exciting world of flying the skies in your own personal automobile is about to become a reality thanks to the efforts of Terrafugia who has finally put their exciting line of flying cars into production.
When it was first announced to an awed public that soon flying cars would be entering the market, many were concerned that they would be impossible to make feasible. Flying cars had been announced with some regularity throughout the years only to be canceled shortly before their production went online. The Canadian British military program developing the saucer-shaped “avrocar” quickly fell short after its production. And the 1970’s Aerocar developed by Moulton Taylor was canceled largely due to a major oil crisis, even after receiving approval from the FAA.
The dreams of millions of technology aficionados will be realized and soon available on the market. The final hurdle will be the actual marketing of the car to a public that is at once excited by the prospect and contending with the hefty price tag this level of freedom will have attached to it. The Transition will most certainly be too expensive for most at first with an estimated retail price of around $194,000 to enjoy this vision of the future.
Terrafugia’s vehicle will run on conventional gasoline, and after taking off can land on a runway where its wings can be folded in to make it a standard driving vehicle that is street legal. The development team originally had a concern that in order to make it street legal it would require additional components which would render it too heavy to take to the air. Luckily, the FAA was sympathetic to the needs of this new breed of unconventional aircraft and made special accommodations to ensure a world full of images of the future that the prognosticators and futurists from the 1950’s would be proud of. Since the aircraft will be considered lightweight it will not require more than 20 hours of flight experience in order to acquire a license to fly it.
So will the transition one day change the world of travel to make it more efficient and glorious? Or will this flight into the sunset be the dawn of a whole new world with a whole new set of hurdles? Will this future of technology be able to set us free to explore our world and live our lives? Or will it further confine us with a new set of fears to go along with our wheels and our wings?