When I was a kid, my parents took me to see Back to the Future. Ever since the first time I watched the Delorian speed through time, I was hooked. A few years later the sequel returned with a bona fide flying time machine. So, ever since the age of ten, I’ve had my fingers crossed that one day reality would catch up with the movies and we’d get to drive flying cars.
And soon, for the steep price of $279,000, we’ll be able to do just that.
Part Car, Part Plane, All Groundbreaking
Released earlier this month, the Transition, a “roadable aircraft” developed by Terrafugia was shown at the New York International Auto Show. According to the Washington Post, the car has completed its first flight and a select few are slapping down the 10 grand deposit required for purchase. On its first test flight, it flew for eight minutes at 1400 feet. (Your average airplane flies for several hours at a height of about 35,000 feet.) However, the Transition won’t be able to get you out of bad I-95 traffic. Drivers of the Transition will need a runway to prepare for lift off.
The Transition has two modes: a driving mode and a flying mode. The idea is that drivers will be able to drive it to a nearby airport where they can take off. Upon completion of the journey, they’ll be able to land at their destination airport and drive it off site.
It’s a little too early to tell if the Transition will be eco-friendly, but if both cars and planes produce heavy carbon emissions, then what of the Transition’s carbon emissions? After all, this flying car is a machine that is both automobile and airplane, the love child of two of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions. What does the green future hold for new inventions like this? Undeniably, the Transition is a giant step forward from the days when we dreamt of Marty McFly’s Delorian or longed for the futuristic freedom of George Jetson’s flying car. What kind of fuel will it use? Will there be a green version? Will we one day purchase carbon credits for flying cars? As we soar into the future, it will be interesting to see.