Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Do You Want A Flying Car? I Do!

"I'm leaving...on a jet plane..."
I like sci-fi. I suffer through horrible movies on the SyFy network, I read sci-fi books, and I go to the movies trying to find more sci-fi. I even write sci-fi (though nothing is published. But I look up to most sci-fi writers and peers who dare to pen the next sci-fi novels as heroes) Here's a shoutout to Munk Davis on his blog as his sci-fi novel is going to be published soon (and yes I plan to read it).

I remember when I saw Back to the Future 2, I thought...wow...the future is going to have flying cars.  Well, all the future has provided thus far is more wrinkles and a slower metabolism.  However, the flying car may just be around the corner.

A car/plane hybrid its inventor calls a "roadable aircraft" is finally just around the corner.

The Woburn, Mass.-based company Terrafugia already has customers placing $10,000 deposits for the light two-person Transition plane, which the company plans to begin producing at the end of 2011 or early 2012. Awesome, eh?  Or maybe I should say, "Awesome for the rich, eh?"  But ya know...stuff will trickle down to my level...it'll just take longer.

There is one hitch. You won't be able to fly from your own driveway.  You'll still need to drive to and take off from an airport, where the wings will extend in 20 seconds. But before and after you get there, you'll be able to drive legally on regular roads.

So why is it taking this long to make that sci-fi dream come true? Turns out the reason more than 100 prototype flying cars failed to make it to market was less due to technology troubles and more the fault of marketing woes. It's not easy jumping through all the regulatory hoops required to be deemed worthy for both air and land, and keeping the FAA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other agencies happy can be an insurmountable problem.

But Carl Dietrich, one of the cofounders of Terrafugia, seems confident that they'll be the ones to get it right. Says Dietrich, "This has been just around the corner for 50 years!"

Personally, I want a jetpack reminiscent of Sean Connery playing James Bond in Thunderball (I think). Here's hoping that more sci-fi becomes actual reality. Happy Tuesday.


  1. I think the jetpack sounds way more cool. But I would love to drive that two-person Transition plane. Dang, I just figured out how many books I need to sell to buy one of those awesome rides. Oops, better get to typing. :)

  2. Hey- flying cars I have though were a possibility- but there is some sci fi I wouldn't want to happen. lol have a great day!

  3. I don't know why this is taking so long. They started making Harrier jump jets in what, the 70s? All you need is better tires and wings that swing back on land and then you could fly and drive! Though I suppose those do take some amount of skill to fly, so you have to dumb it down a lot for the average person.

    Anyway, I doubt there will be an affordable model in my lifetime, let alone one that can fold up into a briefcase like The Jetsons. Damn it.

  4. Thanks so much for the shout out! My apologies tho... As you will see on my comment string. I have misled you, Michael, and others with some misguided analogies. No publisher, alas...As an apology I offer an appropriate musical interlude for your blog today... Quiet Little Voices by We Were Promised Jetpacks.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5ZhBAylbN4

  5. I've been expecting my flying car since watching The Jetsons. *sighs* Maybe someday.

  6. Can you imagine the guts you'd need to be an instructor and a license tester for one of those?

  7. I use to lust after flying cars until I started paying attention on the freeways commuting on school breaks. If road accidents are horrible, I can only imagine someone's flying car getting into an accident and falling on some poor house or worse. That thought curbed my previous enthusiasm for flying cars.

  8. A flying car would definitely be cool.

  9. Alas, jetpacks are even further off. Although I did watch an NCIS episode that looked at dueling jetpack designers, and it was kinda awesome. :)

  10. Okay, I may put a damper here. Just a warning.

    I am a Klutz. I trip. I fall. I hit poles (not all the time, just sort of the time) and for me a flying car or jetpack would kill me. Of this I'm quite certain. I will run smack dab into a building and become the equivalent of a fly on a windshield. Seriously.

    Flying cars and jetpacks scare me. I'm a whimp, oldfashioned, a stick in the mud--call it what you will. I like technology. I do. Oh, and I'm also afraid of heights (I take pills to fly on planes) so yeah. Don't give me one of the "fandangled contraptions" as my grandma would say. Oh crap, now I'm saying it.

    But you all go ahead and have fun. I'll watch you from below :)

  11. Flying cars... That would be interesting. I remember seeing that in 'Back to the Future' and thinking how cool that would be. Now, I think I would be nervous about being out in the open and people flying over me. Hmmm... Not so sure about it all :)


  12. Now that would be my son's dream car! He is a pilot and crazy about new gadgets. He works at an airport as an Aeronautical Engineer - so, it would be perfect for his daily commute.

    He would only break his neck with the jet-pack.

    Me? I like my humble little Toyota.

    However, a dream car for me would be one that runs off banana peels and trash like the one in Back to the Future.