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Another Flying Car Post?

Since we haven't met our usual quota of "Flying Car" posts in, oh, at least a month, I thought it would be appropriate to point out the latest on the subject detailed in this article over on Gizmag ("The Terrafugia Transition - is this the first viable flying car?" July 26th, 2006).

Terrafugia Transition nine views.jpg

Throwing their hat into the ring alongside the teams profiled in this Popular Science article ("The Daring Visionaries of Fringe Aviation" January 2005*), comes a team of aviation engineers from MIT proposing a 100 hp, $138K, folding-wing, pusher-prop design for delivery somtime in or around 2009.

(* True afficionados of all things Speculist should seek out this issue**, since it features not only personal aviation, but an interview with SENS-guru Aubrey de Grey)

(** Ironically, I ran across a dead-tree copy of this issue in the waiting area of a local car dealership [strictly earthbound models, alas] some 18 months after the cover date.)


Remarkable pricetag $143,000.

Something like this with full automation could revolutionize personal travel.

At least for those with $143,000 for a special-purpose vehicle. Not exactly the sort of vehicle you'd take to the grocery store.

Not to beat on the flying car here, but I'm more interested in transportation systems that move people around faster than current systems. I see no evidence that a system based on flying cars would be any faster at moving people around than a ground based system. The better 3-D aspect of the system is negated by the spacing requirements, running-out-of-fuel problem (a car need only roll to the side of the road to be in a fairly safe place), and energy inefficiency.

That's why I think telecommuting and suborbital travel is far more interesting. The former reduces the need for travel while the latter potentially can cut travel times between two arbitrary points on Earth to under
two hours.

You are cordially invited to visit strongware.com to view information about the StrongMobile AirCar Project.
The project has been under development for a long time and is now ready for full-scale development.

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