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Flying Car Ready To Take Off

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the fill-up-on-windshield-fluid-please dept.

Transportation 315

ChazeFroy writes "The first flying automobile, equally at home in the sky or on the road, is scheduled to take to the air next month. If it survives its first test flight, the Terrafugia Transition, which can transform itself from a two-seater road car to a plane in 15 seconds, is expected to land in showrooms in about 18 months' time. Terrafugia claims it will be able to fly up to 500 miles on a single tank of unleaded petrol at a cruising speed of 115mph. Even at $200,000 per automobile, they have already received 40 orders."

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315 comments

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Rules? (5, Funny)

Godwin O'Hitler (205945) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415227)

Has anybody made an attempt at drafting traffic rules for flying cars yet?

Re:Rules? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415277)

Yeah, there are so many flying cars up in the sky. It's getting crowded!

Re:Rules? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415427)

GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
 
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Re:Rules? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415473)

GNU LESSER GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
 
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Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.
 
This version of the GNU Lesser General Public License incorporates the terms and conditions of version 3 of the GNU General Public License, supplemented by the additional permissions listed below.
0. Additional Definitions.
 
As used herein, &#226;&#8364;oethis License&#226;&#8364; refers to version 3 of the GNU Lesser General Public License, and the &#226;&#8364;oeGNU GPL&#226;&#8364; refers to version 3 of the GNU General Public License.
 
&#226;&#8364;oeThe Library&#226;&#8364; refers to a covered work governed by this License, other than an Application or a Combined Work as defined below.
 
An &#226;&#8364;oeApplication&#226;&#8364; is any work that makes use of an interface provided by the Library, but which is not otherwise based on the Library. Defining a subclass of a class defined by the Library is deemed a mode of using an interface provided by the Library.
 
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Re:Rules? (5, Funny)

FiveLights (1012605) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415361)

Rules? Where we're going we don't need rules...

Re:Rules? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415457)

about time!
We were supposed to have flying cars how long ago? :D

Re:Rules? (3, Funny)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415539)

Year 2015, together with Mr Fusion reactors.

Oh, if I remember correctly, upgrading a ground car to flight costs US$40,000 (this was a reasonably big amount when the movie was first released).

Just remember, never appear in the middle of a lane traveling in the opposite direction!

Re:Rules? (4, Insightful)

yabos (719499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415367)

In the air they have to obey the same rules as other planes. On the ground they have to obey the same rules as other cars. Simple as that. Also to fly one of these things you need a private pilot's license so it's not like any yuppie with 200K is going to be able to fly it.

Re:Rules? (2, Insightful)

hitmark (640295) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415455)

wont stop them from trying tho, much like a lack of that pesky drivers license do not stop many from driving cars...

Re:Rules? (2, Insightful)

yabos (719499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415495)

Maybe not but people don't seem to be stealing private aircraft very often. Maybe if this one was in your drive way it'd be more tempting to steal but it still looks like in order to fly it you have to unfold the wings by hand. It's not like James Bond where the wings fold out electrically and you fly away from the bad guys chasing you.

Re:Rules? (4, Informative)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415671)

It's not like James Bond where the wings fold out electrically

Actually, from TFA, it is... The wings are actuated electromechanically; you just push a button in the cockpit.

Re:Rules? (4, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415499)

In the air they have to obey the same rules as other planes. On the ground they have to obey the same rules as other cars. Simple as that.

Either way I cannot wait for the first police chase involving one of these on the road. It will be fucking exciting, especially when the chase leaves the road . Better than Dukes of Hazzard on their best day :)

That SOB is going to get TIVO'd.

Re:Rules? (3, Insightful)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415505)

Well, the rules above ground are drafted for professionals with thousands of logged hours. We can either require that for everyone who wants to fly or we can draft simpler rules in height-confined airspace. Maybe we already have, in VFR flight levels, I don't know.

Re:Rules? (5, Informative)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415739)

... You can get a private pilot's license, good for light aircraft and night flying, for about $5,000, with about 100 hours logged. Simulator time counts. It's really not that much of an impediment, and this thing will probably be small enough to count as a light aircraft.

My real question is what kind of fuel it runs on. There aren't a lot of aircraft that'll run well on less than avgas, and avgas is very expensive. (The aircraft I trained on was a Diamond Eclipse, which *will* run on premium unleaded, but runs a lot better on avgas....)

Re:Rules? (0, Troll)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415637)

Thank you, Captain Obvious. The non-trivial question is about rules of landing and taking of.

Re:Rules? (2, Informative)

Libertarian001 (453712) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415735)

From the website, one needs a Sport Plane certificate, which can be had in 20 hours. That's what scares me. I'm not sure on the timeframe for my fixed wing cousins, but must helicopter pilots solo, for the first time, at right around 20 hours. I've yet to meet someone that I'd be comfortable signing off to go on their own at 20 hours. Yes, I realize that the Sport Plane cert is pretty limiting. That's really not the point. No one looks at flying, and it's requirements, and says, "I'm going to hit those 20 or 40 hours and never fly again." They still want to continue on. And if that's the case, they may as well do it right and get at least their Private Pilot cert, and preferably continue on and get their Commercial cert. More knowledge and skill is a good thing.

Re:Rules? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415533)

The only rules i know related to flying cars so far are more related to avoid meeting yourself in the future or your mother when she was young.

Considering that this ones are more like planes than i.e. DeLorean using antigrav and powered by mr.fusion, probably planes/helicopters/etc rules should apply.

Re:Rules? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415627)

Yes,

nobody with an IQ under 110 can even own one.

That would be a HUGE start to making them far safer than the cars on the road.

Re:Rules? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415729)

Great so we get a bunch of pompous jerks driving in the air ways each one thinking they are smarter then everyone else so everything else is not their fault.

  There are 2 Major Interstates that cross threw the area they both have the same amount of people driving on it however there are very different driving patterns on it. One comes from a very upscale town neighborhoods where you have a lot of intelligent/successful workers coming into the city, the the other road is where the more run down cities, and rual areas where most of the people are just getting by.

Oddly enough the traffic on the "Smart People road" is always jammed, People panic going over a bridge, and traffic gets so bad because they are so snotty about being in the right they rarely ever let people in. But the "Dumb People road" people drive with enough space, don't let bridges freak them out. and normally allow other people in and the road tend to go much smoother.

Intelligence doesn't make you a useful person.

Re:Rules? (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415829)

There's really no correlation between financial success and intelligence. Those people in the rat race aren't happy anyway. Studies have shown that the American dream is a big fucking crock.

Re:Rules? (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415813)

Stay under 88mph?

we will NOT have flying cars (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415245)

seriously. most people can barely control a car on the ground. or even keep one properly maintained.

and you want to put these folks into the air? over your house? yeah... i don't think so.

thats what you call a 'bad idea'.

cap:unguided

Re:we will NOT have flying cars (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415293)

Really I'm glad a pilot's license is a lot harder to obtain. I just wish they weren't so expensive.

Re:we will NOT have flying cars (3, Informative)

fprintf (82740) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415549)

For someone who can afford one of these flying cars, it is likely the cost barrier for a pilot's license does not exist. What is likely to exist, however, is the time barrier. Typically, unless cashed out, retired or otherwise not working, people that can afford this kind of luxury are working their asses of with very little free time.

With that said, in the U.S. I there are new Sport Pilot licenses that might fit this usage perfectly. The licenses are much easier to obtain, with the associated training centers springing up, where a person can pay $X thousand and learn to fly in two weeks. For example, http://sportplanesflorida.com/learntofly.htm?gclid=CIeL79WHiZgCFSUqHgodKRniDg [sportplanesflorida.com] is what came up on my first google search.

I read the new licenses only require 20 hours of flight time versus the current Solo rating 40 hours. If you fly 2 hours per day, which is a *lot*, then in 10 days you are done.

Re:we will NOT have flying cars (2, Informative)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415745)

The FAA requires a minimum of 40 hours for a PVT license. On average the training time is much longer. It took 63 hours to achieve my PVT rating. Flying has gotten more complex since the days when the government established the initial time limit. Not so much the actual flying, but the rules, and that instructors are teaching better judgment these days. That takes time.

I think I'll wait till they automate a flying car into traffic before considering a purchase.

Re:we will NOT have flying cars (3, Interesting)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415373)

Yes we will have flying cars. Only they'll be nothing like a tiny airplane, and fully automated. Fully programmed VTOL is the only thing that would happened. May be a long shot, but we won't get anything short of that no matter what.

Re:we will NOT have flying cars (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415639)

Assuming we harness fusion for power before we use it for armageddon...

Re:we will NOT have flying cars (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415665)

The moller skycar is not even a real prtotype, it's a vaporware fake demo.

we will NOT have VTOL flying cars. Have you seen what a harrier does to pavement when it takes off or lands vertically? IT even blisters the hell out of super thick concrete. and no fan or turbofan in existence will do a decent VTOL without being 3X the size ofthe aircraft.

Flying cars will NOT happen. The general public is far too stupid to own one, and you would have to put in safety systems that make the car refuse to move when periodic service is needed. Hell my old Piper Comanche needed it's wings replaced for every 1000 hours of flight, and that was nearly the fricking cost of the aircraft! (which is when I sold it.)

Re:we will NOT have flying cars (5, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415401)

There's a quick solution to that problem, and it doesn't even require any technical or legislative changes: don't call it a flying car!

Even their website doesn't use the term 'car'; it's clearly marketed towards pilots not drivers and they call it a "Roadable Aircraft". It's being sold to people who already fly, but want to be able to get from door to door rather than airfield to airfield - an idea which makes sense to me.

Re:we will NOT have flying cars (1)

Libertarian001 (453712) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415799)

Really? From their website they say one just needs a Sport Plane cert, which can be had in as few as 20 hours. No one serious about aviation gets a Sport Plane cert (very limiting what one can do with it).

Re:we will NOT have flying cars (3, Insightful)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415413)

I, for one, (not welcoming anybody) am dreaming of flying car that I can select my destination on some dialer a then let central computer take me there. I wouldn't put my family into flying car that I am supposed to fly. What they have is not flying car, it is airplane you can drive. Flying car should be, first of all *car* - something that Joe Sixpack can use easily in (relatively) safe way.

Re:we will NOT have flying cars (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415535)

Joe Sixpack can barely even do that in a car now.

Re:we will NOT have flying cars (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415645)

Might wanna get that working on a road car first!

Re:we will NOT have flying cars (1)

mcfatboy93 (1363705) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415443)

but remember of the 20 orders for a $200,000 flying car you have to filthy stinkin rich to get one and therefore they can pay for lessons. second there are only a few of these things on the market and fewer in the sky now what are the chances of them hitting anything exept a tree or building

Please Help Me! Prison Sux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415461)

Dear Slashdot,

My name is Mike and I am serving the first week of a 10 year sentence in Federal Prison for severe SEC violations. I am very scared and I didn't know what else to do. I guess I have 5 good minutes to type this cry out for help until Tyrone and the crew come for me and give me what they call "Mandatory Showertime". I mean I have been exposed to more male cock in the first 3 days here than I have ever cared to know in my first 30 years of life. I guess it was some sort of sick joke that they gave me a big black cell mate named Tyrese who also part of Tyrones crew. As such he has first dibs on me or as he says "first dick in me". The nigger has beaten me senseless the first day here as he seems to get a real kick out of it and has repeatedly raped me and that's not even the worst of it. I never knew a man could cum 7 times in a row and with that I hadn't been able to get any sleep in the past day or so. The first time I met Tyrone was at our first shower time. Tyrese had "persuaded" me to go into the shower room and that's when I met the whole crew. There must have been 19 prison niggers in there and when the guards pulled out, thats when I was given a gangraping that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Could you imagine 19 giant black cocks repeatedly ass raping and mouth fucking you? I think not, and don't think these guys went in one at a time. I swear it must have been 3 in my ass and 2 in my mouth at one point. I was in tears hearing Tyrone laughing at me saying "This be your life now cracka, you our bitch now". I still have the sharpie mark on my ass that says "Tyrone's ho". Uh oh it looks like it's mandatory shower time again. I think I am going to hang myself when Tyrese is out raping another white prisoner. Thanks for listening.

Re:we will NOT have flying cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415589)

seriously. most people can barely control a car on the ground. or even keep one properly maintained.

and you want to put these folks into the air? over your house? yeah... i don't think so.

thats what you call a 'bad idea'.

cap:unguided

You are right. Lets just stick to cars that only travel on the roads. Good thing they never end up rolling over people on the sidewalks. Or roll through peoples homes.

The flying planes are simply too dangerous than what we currently have!

It won't be most people (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415597)

Ever heard of this thing called a "pilot license?" Yeah... "most people" neither have them nor an opportunity to get one, and they'll be required to operate one of these things.

hope it doesn't run on windows! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415255)

it'll surely CRASH! :P

Re:hope it doesn't run on windows! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415315)

LOOOOOOOOOOL... not!

Seriously? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415259)

I know its all James Bond and everything, but the practicality is not there. It reminds me of a swiss army knife. Not a single useful tool in the bunch. (That's why I use a Leatherman)

Obligatory... (0, Troll)

maple_shaft (1046302) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415263)

1) RTFA

2) Create yet another flying car that has been done and failed countless times before.

3) ????

4) Profit!

Re:Obligatory... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415301)

I usually say this every time this comes up:

Putting stuff in the air is doable. Making an aircraft that can be piloted by you average citizen is quite another matter.
Car crashes can be quite bad as it is, but if you add a 1 km fall to every incident, the death toll would surely go up.

We would have to add steel plates to every roof to defend against distracted soccer moms raining down at terminal velocity.

Re:Obligatory... (1)

Krupuk (978265) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415317)

And all the soda cans... and ashtrays... and...

Re:Obligatory... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415363)

So make it go 2-3 meters up, enough to not having to build and maintain roads and get plenty of extra space but still no huge extra impact compared to the stuff you normally have to go thru anyway.

Re:Obligatory... (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415659)

Imagine if we didn't have to build roads because we all had these hovering craft. But what on earth would we call them?

Re:Obligatory... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415725)

Are you joking or just asking?

Kind of hard to tell since you more or less say hover craft :D

Personally I think it would be kind of cool to just be able to zip around a little bit everywhere.

But regarding safety I think all these attempts are wrong and that if we want private persons up in the air we should shot for those air sailthingys with a small engine on a couple of HPs.

I imagine most of them can go down to ground quite safely even if you get an engine failure, I have no idea how often they fall down due to winds and such, gasoline economy would probably be quite ok since they are so light weight, you could travel at varying heights and maybe you could even glide with them if you where skilled enough / had a bigger modell.

Would be so nice with a bicycle in the city and something such for 20km+ trips or something such, imagine the view, short cuts, amount of (traffic) space available, ..

Re:Obligatory... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415741)

Fuck, forgot to add that I doubt a foldable airplane will cut it. Sure it may be somewhat better for carrying luggage / weather protection but as person transport it's such a waste.

Re:Obligatory... (1)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415509)

Car crashes can be quite bad as it is, but if you add a 1 km fall to every incident, the death toll would surely go up.

I fail to see the downside. It's called natural selection.

Indeed. OTOH Here's a real transport revolution - (2, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415475)

The first real PRT system is nearly ready to enter active service at Heathrow Airport.

http://www.atsltd.co.uk/news/29/32/First-Flight-at-Heathrow/d,News%20Display/ [atsltd.co.uk]

 

Re:Indeed. OTOH Here's a real transport revolution (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415863)

It's looking very cool, I can't wait to fly just to try it out.

I hope the government decides to use this system in the future however I couldn't really think where because of human traffic making it more dangerous.

Make sure... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415267)

Make sure not to hit the "transform back to car" button while you're in mid air.

Re:Make sure... (1)

barocco (1168573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415501)

It's funny, or perhaps sad, when on their own website they put "Drive in case of inclement weather" as the first bullet point about safety.

Re:Make sure... (1)

ja (14684) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415643)

Easy, just place the "transform back to car" handle on the outside.

this sorta thing has been done many times (4, Funny)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415273)

and while many of them have taken off, none of them have taken off

First is a little misleading (4, Informative)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415281)

Calling it the first flying car is a bit misleading; there are quite a few pre-existing flying cars, it's just none of them was ever a commercial success. There's still an Aerocar about with an airworthiness certificate.

The main problem with a flying car is the number of certificates you need to get in order to be able to use it.

Re:First is a little misleading (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415309)

The main problem with a flying car is the number of certificates you need to get in order to be able to use it.

If you owned a plane and a car you would still need both certificates.

Another flying car ... (0, Troll)

Aiml (1450363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415291)

Is it true this model comes with a complimentary copy of Duke Nukem Forever?

It's Not a Flying Car (3, Insightful)

Cephacles (1447237) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415305)

It's a driveable airplane. [slashdot.org] One key difference is it is marketed to licensed pilots.

I wonder how many airports are out there that have a path from the runway to the road that isn't fenced off or have some other barrier to getting this craft on the road.

Re:It's Not a Flying Car (2, Insightful)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415323)

I would think they all would have a fairly easy way of getting out. Doesn't the mail go through regular passenger planes?

Re:It's Not a Flying Car (1)

Cephacles (1447237) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415521)

Yes, but the baggage is transported from the plane to baggage pickup. The mail trucks don't just drive on to the tarmac.

Re:It's Not a Flying Car (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415669)

Nope no mail on planes, no packages on planes... those UPS and FEDEX planes are all fake cardboard cutouts.

Every airport has an easy way to get cars, trucks, tanks, and other vehicles on the runway.

Re:It's Not a Flying Car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415349)

this [jumbolair.com] one?

She will get stuck at security checks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415513)

1. Drive on the runaway
2. Off the runaway to the Airport, assuming they offer you way-to-runaway service, which may cost well as much as $200000 depending on the airport
3. Get to the entrance to the runaway specially made for you
4. Get out of the car
5. Pass Metal Detector, X-Ray all of your luggage, wait until officers and dogs have thoroughly checked the contents of your car
6. Sort out what is needed (papers and controls) for your passengers, too
7. Enter the runaway area
8. Wait for a slot..

Seriously people, this may be good for amateurs middle of nowhere but a bit of social rules have to change for it to really work around cities where it's needed, for example: specialized mini runaways along the runaway. Then can you imagine what the already hard traffic control will look like? And what about security if your car gets stolen? No way.

The current scheme separates too strictly between driveway and runaway, for need and because it should be so. I see no immediate success for this idea.

I see no immediate success for this idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415657)

... and a brand new series of amazing runaway car-chasing shows, having the car actually chasing the chopper of the press.

Re:She will get stuck at security checks... (1)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415695)

Yea, if only there was a separate section of the airport where privately owned small (Cessna) sized planes were kept, where their owners could drive up basically right to their own area to transition from their cars into their private Cessnas, then fly off using the same runways that all the other planes use. Too bad that doesn't exist in reality. Someone should invent that.

Re:She will get stuck at security checks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415833)

Oh ho! Yes! Is funny because all airports already have that!

Re:It's Not a Flying Car (1)

kae_verens (523642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415531)

are these things not VTOLs? in which case, why would they need a runway?

Re:It's Not a Flying Car (1)

kae_verens (523642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415543)

silly me. picture in article doesn't look remotely VTOL.

but in that case, i don't really see the point - if it's not a VTOL, it would need to take off and land at airports, in which case why not just use an airplane?

Re:It's Not a Flying Car (3, Informative)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415557)

Actually that isn't a problem. There are many general aviation airports that rent hangar space to aircraft owners (in fact almost all airports do). You drive your car onto the airport and park right next to your hangar, get it your plane and take off. In this case you can taxi your airplane off the runway, onto the private airport road, then out of the airport. Remember this is a plane the size of a car with folded wings. No problem!

Re:It's Not a Flying Car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415575)

Almost any rural airfield has a direct path from the airstrip to the road. Few have fences or gates of any kind.

On top of that, must suburban airports have direct tarmac access from the parking lot through a gate, easily large enough for a big truck.

As a pilot that frequents a number of such airports, I have a file on my PDA with gate codes for dozens of such airports. As a bonus of being a local pilot, you gain more or less unfettered access to the tarmac, including the fuel station. Ever seen what a sports car does with AV gas in it?

Larger commercial airports also have roads and gates to the tarmac, but they are generally guarded by people, and your main issue isn't the physical barrier so much as the incredulous individuals you'll have to deal with. That being said, no one flies small private planes into or out of commercial airports. If they can avoid it. It's way to much of a hassle.

All that to say, there isn't an issue with access. The issues will be with the DOT, and FAA for the most part. That, and the bizarre looks and incredulous people you'll have to deal with driving/flying something like this.

As a pilot, I have to say it's an intriguing concept, however, it remains to be seen if it's ready for prime time.

Re:It's Not a Flying Car (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415629)

Most small untowered airports.

Some of them might have a fence with a gate, but any of the pilots would have the key. It is not uncommon to see people just drive up to the plane, get in, and tax to the runway.

This isn't a flying car... (1)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415311)

This is a plane which can also stow it's wings and drive on roads. You will need an aircraft pilots licence, you will need to take off and land at aircraft runways. This is not a flying car like the moller which envisioned VTOL from your driveway.

Re:This isn't a flying car... (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415453)

This is not a flying car like the moller which envisioned VTOL from your driveway.

And that's probably a good thing. Why is it that everyone understands that you have to have an Atari 2600 before you can have a PS3 but, when it comes to the "flying car", they expect the future today.

Re:This isn't a flying car... (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415807)

Because they were supposed to be common 9 years ago.

Roads do nasty things to vehicles (4, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415381)

I wouldn't want to be around when one of these that has done 20,000 miles of potholes, salt, grit and all the other things you drive through on the road that mess up vehicles takes to the air because god knows what it would do to a light airframe over 10 or 20 years. Sure , you're supposed to do maintenance - but that doesn't prevent loads of cars breaking down at the side of the road due to lack of it. If people drive this like a car (even if they're qualified pilots) they may start to treat it like a car rather than like an aircraft and skip on servicing. The rest you can guess.

Re:Roads do nasty things to vehicles (2, Insightful)

Tx (96709) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415517)

If people drive this like a car (even if they're qualified pilots) they may start to treat it like a car rather than like an aircraft and skip on servicing. The rest you can guess.

That's called evolution, baby! If you're the kind of person who's going to think "hey, that corrosion on the wing supports can wait 'till next year", and your still going to fly the thing, then you deserve what you get.

Re:Roads do nasty things to vehicles (4, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415567)

"That's called evolution, baby! If you're the kind of person who's going to think "hey, that corrosion on the wing supports can wait 'till next year", and your still going to fly the thing, then you deserve what you get."

Yeah , but the people on the ground you land of top of don't.

Re:Roads do nasty things to vehicles (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415871)

The people on the ground are poor though, so who cares?

Re:Roads do nasty things to vehicles (1)

miketheanimal (914328) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415609)

Thats all very well but: A badly maintained car usually just grinds to a halt. A badly maintained aircraft *falls* onto things.

Re:Roads do nasty things to vehicles (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415677)

anyone that would drive a $200,000+ vehicle in the snow and salt is an idiot, and certainly not able to pass a pilots license requirement. That's the cool part, the pilot license requirement weeds out the idiots.

Link to the print version (1)

DerCed (155038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415393)

Wow, a link to the print-version of the Times article! For a change, I'd like to thank the submitter or editor for their effort!

For the love of God..... (0, Troll)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415411)

...don't contract Microsoft to do the in car entertainment.

Re:For the love of God..... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415565)

Hey, isnt so bad, they will make the fastest cars in history. Wonder what will be the speed when they hit the ground. Maybe even faster than this one [darwinawards.com]

If these do become the norm (1)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415431)

Think of the poor airline pilots, who have 100's of lives on board, restricted lanes to travel in, air traffic control to help guide them....now having to watch out for lunatics in personal flying cars swooping across the front of their cockpits. It'd be an interesting new approach for a terrorist attack.

Re:If these do become the norm (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415681)

How is it remotely new? You think Terrorists are waiting for flying cars to use when they can already buy proper aircraft with better lift capacity and speed for about 1/3rd of the price?

A lot of people posting here don't seem to realise that you still need a pilot's license to fly a "flying car". I'm more worried about the ability and safety of the vehicle for ground use than air use, but it's a null and void point as very few will be produced and the ones that are will be driven very little (to airports and back). My hope is that it is a catalyst for the market and brings in more competition.

Re:If these do become the norm (2, Insightful)

skiman1979 (725635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415685)

Think of the poor airline pilots, who have 100's of lives on board, restricted lanes to travel in, air traffic control to help guide them....now having to watch out for lunatics in personal flying cars swooping across the front of their cockpits. It'd be an interesting new approach for a terrorist attack.

Isn't that what air brakes are for? :-P

I would imagine these flying cars would have their own low-altitude restricted space to fly in. If that's the case, they wouldn't be anywhere near commercial jets, except maybe during the jets' take-off and landing.

Wouldn't these things also be linked to air traffic control?

Transformation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415449)

which can transform itself from a two-seater road car to a plane in 15 seconds

That's nothing. I bet I could transform it from an expensive plane into a crater in under 1 second.

Border control just got more complicated (1)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415451)

Not to mention a lot more expensive. These things would be a criminals dream.

Re:Border control just got more complicated (1)

skiman1979 (725635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415661)

What about Military bases? Criminals wouldn't have to worry about those pesky guarded gates anymore. Wait until 100s of commuters decide to attempt to commute to work in these things on a Monday morning.

Re:Border control just got more complicated (1)

Attaturk (695988) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415809)

Not to mention a lot more expensive. These things would be a criminals dream.

No more so than helicopters or any other light aircraft for that matter, which are usually easier to get your hands on than flying cars. Even a home-grown balloon can get you over a fence. ;)

Here's hoping that this is a success (1)

optkk (907995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415483)

because according to TV, I should have had my first flying car 10 years ago. DAMMIT! I WANT MY FLYING CAR!

The first one? (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415503)

I believe that this is not the first flying car as stated in the article. As early as the 1950 were there flying cars. The article further fails to mention the real fuel efficiency. 500 miles on 1 tank - quite remarkable if the tank is 1 liter... but if it's a 200 liter tank, then it's not very efficient, is it? And as mentioned in the article: you still need to take off from a normal airport, and not from your driveway or garden. So... how much sense does it make to spend 200,000 on the flying car when a Cessna costs about half of that, and a car too? I'm just trying to find arguments other than "I don't want more airplanes" - noise, safety and the poor birds are some other standard arguments against this contraption. Sorry for being negative. Donuts, anyone?

Not good enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26415527)

How pathetic we must seem to the future-predictors of the past. OK we've come through with Cel phones, microwave ovens, the Space Shuttle and the Internet, but where the hell are the Hovercars? It's 2008 and all we can come up with is to reuse disappointing airplane technology?

We need GPS guided space taxis that take us anywhere on the Earth within 2-3 hours (essentially what the Space Shuttle has been doing for over 25 years)-- that should hold us over until we develop something like a Gravity Distortion Engine for day trips to the Moon...

Holy cow (3, Interesting)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415611)

I SAW one of these things on I-80, and spent some time with Google trying to figure out what the thing was. Unfortunately it was being towed, rather than driving under its own power, but still. The wings were folded up but there's no mistaking the shape of the thing.

Neat.

Mr Fusion Reactor To Fly Reusable Spacecars (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415621)

"Mr Fusion Ltd has designed a nuclear fusion reactor small enough to fit into a car, yet powerful enough to power the car into the stratosphere (about 15 to 50 km high)...

Output power is at least 1.21 Gigowatts, equivalent to a lightning strike...

Will be available from 2015 onwards..."

Revenge! (1)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415717)

Flying cars are great, you can now get revenge when a bird shits on you.

Order now, and as a special bonus... (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415755)

Order now, and as a special bonus you also get: It's butt ugly!

Strange in a society where streamlined aerodynamic everything tends to be viewed as beautiful.

It (1)

Konster (252488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415769)

It is a very bad airplane. It's complicated in areas that general aviation spent the last 30 years ironing out complications. There are very strong reasons why the small/private aircraft industry uses designs that are ancient...they tend to work, and why they stop working is known too. This thing is whole new WHY DID IT BECOME A LAWN DART let's learn new things.

Yeah, well them ain't your teeth they are digging out of the ground 30 feet short of the runway...they are (were) mine.

If you want a bad car, rent a Chevy Aveo. If you want a bad plane, rent in Mexico. If you want a good plane, rent a Cessna 150 in the USA. Want to meld a good car and a good plane? You can't. People have been trying this for 50 years and no one has succeeded. A good car cannot be a good plane and vice versa. They are mutually exclusive concepts.

Believe it when I see it (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415835)

TFA says words to the effect, "First delivery anticipated 2010." Along with Windows 7 and Duke Nukem Forever. Whether the company will still be around in 2010 to deliver the orders they've already taken is very much an open question. Whether these aircraft will be street-legal in any state in the U.S. is another open question.

Like my dad said... (1)

Digana (1018720) | more than 5 years ago | (#26415877)

Like my dad, with 35,000+ hours of flight accumulated before his death said... "nothing that flies is a toy".
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