Thursday, May 16, 2013

This 'n That Thursdays: Has My Flying Car Finally Arrived?

Vertical liftoff of Terrafugia's TF-X

I think I may have complained a couple of times here that I am still waiting for the oft-promised flying car.  Well, could it be that my long and presumed fruitless wait is soon to be over?  A recent news article stated that the Boston aerospace company Terrafugia has already succeeded in producing an airplane-like flying car and is looking into the feasibility of creating one that is more like a helicopter, able to take off and land vertically.  Believe it or not, their Transition flying car can actually be reserved for purchase.

Terrafugia's Transition switching from driving to flying mode

It can convert from flying to driving, and is street-legal in the latter mode, but it can only take off and land from airports when in flying mode.  Hence the need to design a flying vehicle that can perform these important functions vertically, which would greatly expand its utility.  Terrafugia is developing the TF-X flying car with this capacity, and the company would love to have your help!  If you are interested in the idea of a flying car in your future, check out their suggestions for aiding in the advancement of this technology.  If qualified, you can also invest in the project or even apply for a career with the company!

Of course, before a flying car can ever become a standard mode of transportation, many changes in laws and regulations will be needed to accommodate this new technology.  A few pessimists may object to change, and some have predicted that chaos and catastrophe will reign should the flying car become a reality.  Personally, I think that if people are competent enough to drive cars and/or fly aircraft, then they should be able to come up with a way to make flying cars a safe and practical reality.  After all, we figured out how to adjust to horseless carriages, despite the problems and inconveniences these primitive vehicles created initially, and equine transportation is now pretty much a thing of the past.  Some day flightless cars may be on the way to extinction like land line phones and paper books.  We will always find the old ways nostalgic, but for humans change is inevitable, and if done responsibly could even be for the better!

"Back to the Future" flying DeLorean time machine (from PopSci)

(Since there are those who are convinced that flying cars will be catastrophic, the above photo brings to mind another interesting question to ponder -- is time travel a good idea?  If it is even possible, should we pursue the technology?  What do you think?)

No comments:

Post a Comment