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Out of the Ordinary

Flying car prototypes means the future is here!

Kara Menini

The flying car has been an American dream for decades

Two companies have recently had successful test flights for their flying cars

The flying car is now part of the modern world, and if you should have $300,000 lying around, you would have the choice of two different kinds. A U.S. flying car company, Terrafugia, and a Netherlands company PAL-V (Personal Air and Land Vehicle) have recently completed several successful test flights with their products. Terrafugia’s flying car, the Transition, looks like a compact airplane where the PAL-V’s flying car is an automobile-helicopter hybrid.

The flying car from Terrafugia will debut its “roadable aircraft” on Friday at the New York International Auto Show. The Transition will cost around $279,000 and should be available for purchase by the end of the year: Terrafugia has already accepted one hundred $10,000 deposits. The flying car, born in Massachusetts, can reach about 70 miles per hour on the road and 115 miles per hour in the air. The Transition has a 23-gallon tank that takes regular unleaded gas, and it burns five gallons per hour in the air and gets 35 miles to the gallon on land. It has a flying range around 500 miles.

The flying car from the Dutch company, which remains nameless, is much different in look and function from the Transition. The PAL-V flying car is still in the developmental phase, but has been looking for investors in hopes the car can soon be sold to the general public. The company is expecting the flying car to sell for about $300,000. This flying car can reach speeds up to 110 miles per hour on land and in the air and has a flying range of about 325 miles.

These two flying cars, however, have almost nothing in common. The LA Times gives great descriptions of both. The Transition “is really more of a roadable aircraft, rather than a flying car — think of it as a light sports aircraft with collapsible wings that has been cleared to drive on highways.” The PAL-V flying car “flies in the air like a gyrocopter with lift generated by an auto-rotating rotor and forward speed produced by a foldable push propeller in the back. It has three wheels, a narrow base- but a high center of gravity and on the ground it drives sort of like a motorcycle thanks to a patented “tilting” system.” They do have one thing in common though—don’t expect to be able to avoid traffic because both of them need runways.

Check out the test flights for the flying car by Terrafugia and the flying car by PAL-V.

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