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Thread: Are you ready for the Flying Car?!

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    Live&Learn is offline Member
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    Are you ready for the Flying Car?!

    Terrafugia Transition 'flying car' gets go-ahead from US air authorities

    The Terrafugia Transition, a light aircraft that can convert into a road-legal automobile, is to go into production after being given a special weight exemption by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

    Terrafugia Transition 'flying car' gets go-ahead from US air authorities - Telegraph

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    Soapboxmom's Avatar
    Soapboxmom is online now Administrator
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    Re: Are you ready for the Flying Car?!

    Well, that looks really cool. Things are a changing so fast. I don't know about teaching my son to drive in that contraption in a few years!

    Soapboxmom

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    Live&Learn is offline Member
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    Re: Are you ready for the Flying Car?!

    I would love to be driving down the freeway and then take off.

    I'm sure that's not allowed.

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    Emet is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Are you ready for the Flying Car?!

    Lots of youtube videos:

    A half-truth is a whole lie.

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    Mike!'s Avatar
    Mike! is offline "Say it like you mean it!
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    Re: Are you ready for the Flying Car?!

    Sort of cool, but weren't we promised Atomic Powered Flying Cars by now?

    YouTube - the jetsons intro
    "Never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes...
    Because then it doesn't matter, you’re a mile away and you have his shoes!"

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    Lightbulb's Avatar
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    Re: Are you ready for the Flying Car?!

    Neat flying car, or is it a street-legal airplane? Anyway, someone will need to figure out how to make the wings detachable so that vehicle will be able to fit down a regular street without taking up 3 lanes.

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    iamwil is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Are you ready for the Flying Car?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightbulb View Post
    Neat flying car, or is it a street-legal airplane? Anyway, someone will need to figure out how to make the wings detachable so that vehicle will be able to fit down a regular street without taking up 3 lanes.
    As with all the flying car prototypes in the past 4 decades...the wings fold...this one is automatic...push a button..

    And no you still need an airport or a private field...

    Been watching these for years... the price tag has always been the problem, not the technology. And as usual it is not the best of both worlds but the worst...not a great plane...doesn't go fast enough, not a great car, doesn't hold enough...and it costs to much...and the insurance....whee...

    Folks I've known who have been tempted and investigated have always found it cheaper still to have one of each...

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    Re: Are you ready for the Flying Car?!

    "Been watching these for years... the price tag has always been the problem, not the technology. And as usual it is not the best of both worlds but the worst...not a great plane...doesn't go fast enough, not a great car, doesn't hold enough...and it costs to much...and the insurance....whee..."

    Sounds perfect for a new MLM! Even 'Pre-launch' makes sense!
    But it's a dry heat!

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    Re: Are you ready for the Flying Car?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Live&Learn View Post
    I would love to be driving down the freeway and then take off.

    I'm sure that's not allowed.

    lol....you bring up a great point though....I wonder if the F.A.A. has considered the ideas on what they are going to do when tthey face criminals....

    you know the bank robbers ect......I wonder if the F.A.A. and law enforcement have considered the possibilities when they are chasing a lunatic on the road and then it begins to start flying. How are they going to chase down the criminals?

  10. #10
    A Life Aloft is offline fled troglodyte invasion
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    Re: Are you ready for the Flying Car?!

    If such a ridiculous scenario were to take place, all major law enforement agencies do have and use helicopters. Many of them in rural or rough terrain areas have small planes as well. They dispatch them now for car chases and any major event on the ground to track cars from above. There are not going to be huge sales for this item to begin with. It's usage will be very limited. Then you would need "bank robbers" to find one of these Terrafugias (good luck with that) and then have had enough flying lessons to actually operate it. It is not the FAA's job to determine the "usage" of any aircraft btw, but to certify the aircraft for the usage stated by the manufacturer.

    It's not very impressive either as a car or a vehicle frankly. One small mishap on the road and there goes your "aircraft". In the video you can also see the issues with getting it down to the ground, it tends to hover and float quite a bit. All the surfaces seems to be in a nose up deflection, including the nose itself. Every video that has been shown of this little experiment is only a short hop type of "flight". You don't actually see it performing in real flight thus far. I have my doubts how this would pan out in any real crosswinds, and to the actual power of this "plane". It also really does not look like an all weather aircraft. Moreover, how often would you pick up bumps and scrapes driving the thing which would render it perfectly safe on the road but not airworthy.

    The TF isn't cheap at $200k and may balloon north of $300k by the time it reaches actual certification. You could buy two Skycatchers and have enough left for a couple of pickup trucks for that much. What is the predicted market segment for such a high priced, narrow mission-profile vehicle? Curious business model. You need to sell a certain number of units to ensure viability over time. LSAs were an attempt to reduce cost for low-end aviation buyers while this airplane drastically increases it. This may have ramifications to safety in the long run, particularly if not enough units are sold to fund a steady supply of parts, maintenance personnel and support structure.

    This vehicle obviously would do very poorly in NHTSA crash testing. The phrase "death trap" comes to mind. It has no real bumpers, airbags, anti-skid, interior padding, etc. It is made of aluminum (I think) which has poor energy absorption capability in a crash. Worse the proto has protrusions in the cockpit. At the very least it needs a lot of improvement to be considered safe as road vehicle. Even if the NHTSA grants a crashworthiness exemption for the TF, would you really want to be driving a car that can't pass an NHTSA crash test? Motorcycles have a high fatality rate and the TF will be on par with motorcycles as far as road safety.

    The Terrafugia website has almost humorous lack of specifications and data. They are withholding info until things pan out in the manufacturing, supply, design, and certification departments I guess, but the website is woefully inadequate. What are the details of the power transmission systems, flight control systems, folding mechanisms, ballistic parachute system, fuel system, where they are going to source the parts, how does it handles in air work, where is the Pilots Operating Handbook? Who is going to perform maintenance on Terrafugias and where will the parts come from?

    Hybrid bastardizations seldom end happily. It will prove useless on the road (as the reviews seem to indicate) and almost so in the air. Pointless gimmick in my opinion. Oh, and what about the "carrying capacity" of 195 kg? That's two adults, no baggage, no fuel. Seriously?

    I still think it's a load of media hype about nothing. From what I gather from the articles that I have read, the only reason for this press announcement is that the FAA have increased the weight limit for a Light Sports Aircraft so that this thing will (or should I say "may eventually") fall under LSA rules. But the articles stating heading "gains certification" seems to be very far from the truth right now. It's simply too expensive, not aerobatic enough, and needs about 200% more power as far as I am concerned.

    What security issues would this create at airports as well, both on arrival as a "car" soon to be an "aircraft" and vise versa? lol

  11. #11
    CynicalSkeptic is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Are you ready for the Flying Car?!

    Quote Originally Posted by iamwil View Post
    Folks I've known who have been tempted and investigated have always found it cheaper still to have one of each...
    Even with one of each, you don't have your car with you when you land your plane. That has always been my problem with making private plane ownership practical.

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    Re: Are you ready for the Flying Car?!

    Just think of the trouble with drinking and driving, and now the possibility of drinking and driving/flying. Not to mention terrorists getting their hands on them and flying them into more buildings and such.

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