The recession is hurting us all, but if you have an extra $194,000 laying around, maybe stuffed under the mattress, you can afford a new flying car that's scheduled to drive, take off and land in 2010.Boston-based Terrafugia calls their version of a hybrid "Transition." Earlier this month, the company announced last week, its part-car, part-airplane took its first test flight, lasting only 37 seconds. The vehicle drove to the site and then took off and landed successfully.
According to Discovery:
Transition's aerial debut followed six months of road tests and years of design. The goal is to create an airplane that can be driven to and from a runway and parked in the family garage at night.
Transition runs on regular unleaded gasoline and can travel up to 500 miles on a single tank of gas. It takes less than 30 seconds for the vehicle's wings to fold up or extend to transform from plane to car or vice-versa.
The transportation sector, globally, is responsible for roughly 20 percent of greenhouse emissions. The aviation industry, like the tech industry, is responsible for an estimated 2 percent of emissions. While the Terrafugia may make a sweet ride for the Jetsons, the rest of us her now on a heating planet could use more efficient cars and airplanes, not wacky combos of the two built for the super rich.
On a brighter and greener note, Honda has recently announced that its Insight hybrid will come to the US and be sold for less than $20,000. That means you could buy 8 of them for the price of the Terrafugia and still have enough cash left over to fly first class to Europe about 7 times. Of course, maybe just one Insight and a nice vacation here and there is enough.