Fifty years ago, we may have thought flying cars and jet packs would have been a common mode of travel by now. While they may not mainstream yet, it's safe to say flying personal vehicles are moving from the realm of Jetsons' sci-fi closer to reality.
Woburn, Mass.-based Terrafugia Inc. said Monday that its prototype flying car has completed its first flight. The Transition aircraft flew at 1,400 feet for eight minutes last month and will be displayed to the public this weekend at the New York Auto Show.
“It’s a remarkable vehicle both on the road and, now, in the air," Chief Test Pilot Phil Meeter said in a statement. "When I drove it into the shop, literally from the road through the garage door, I was amazed that I had just flown it at Plattsburgh a few days before. A long-overdue mode of transportation and fun is just around the corner. I can’t wait for the upcoming flight tests and the chance to ‘wring it out’, demonstrating how safe and enjoyable the Transition is to fly.”
Watch the prototype's first flight here:
The craft has folding wings so it can be driven on the street after it lands. It can go up to 70 miles per hour on the ground and up to 115 miles per hour in the air.
Terrafugia expects to begin deliveries of the flying car to customers within a year. Spokesman Steven Moscaritolo said around 100 people have put down a $10,000 deposit to get one of the vehicles, which are expected to cost $279,000.
Another manufacturer from the Netherlands has developed a vehicle for "flyving," a term coined by Jalopnik. The Pal-V ONE, it states, is an "autogyro," which uses helicopter-like technology. The three-wheeled vehicle can travel for more than 300 miles at speeds around 110 mph.
The Dutch company explains that even if the engine fails, the gyroplane will still be able to make a safe landing as the rotor keeps auto rotating. The Pal-V ONE made its first successful maiden voyage in March.
Check out the Pal-V ONE in this ITN News report:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.