The Flying Car Is Closer Than You Think

flying car grass

Is that the President landing? No its just Kevin, he got that new flying car!
http://laughingsquid.com/terrafugia-unveils-futuristic-tf-x-flying-car-concept/

The future of flying cars is closer than you think, and Terrafugia is willing to take us there! Funny name you say? It is derived from Latin, meaning “escape the Earth.”  Fitting to say the least.

Terrafugia is set to release a car-plane hybrid by the name of The Transition which will be a fuel efficient transforming plane. That is correct. You will be able to drive your Transition from your house to the nearest run-way and simply lift off into the the skies!

How you ask? The wings of the flying car fold up on the side, transforming the vehicle into a regular 23 gal, 35 mpg, 100 hp, compact automobile. And when you are ready to hit the skies you will be cruising at a steady speed of 100 mph with a flight range of 410 miles. All for the low price of $279,000. While that price may seem steep to some, it is as with all things that enter the market as a new technology: eventually the price of flying cars will come down to a more reasonable and affordable six figure price tag.

This mobile aircraft is as cute as a button. http://www.terrafugia.com/aircraft/transition

This Transition is cute as a button.
http://www.terrafugia.com/aircraft/transition

Related Article: Blimps are the Future!

The great thing about Terrafugia is they also have a commercial flying car in the works. While the Transition is set to come out in 2015, they have planned another model flying car by the name of TF-X (released in 8-12 years). The TF-X will be a smaller, safer, road oriented version of the Transition. Not to mention it will have a sophisticated auto pilot:

  • TF-X™ vehicles will be capable of automatically avoiding other air traffic, bad weather, and restricted and tower-controlled airspace.
  •  If the operator becomes unresponsive, TF-X™ will automatically implement an emergency auto-land at the nearest airport.

Related Article: Google’s Self Driving Car Initiative

There are however a couple of setbacks, as with any new invention. The flying car will likely run into road blocks (why not just fly over them…) from the political side of things; weight restrictions, flight allowance, zone restrictions, and licence requirements. Currently, with a petition already submitted, Terrafugia is still a long way away before getting government support and clearing all the speed bumps ahead (again… just fly why don’t you, you have a flying car!). Most of these policies and restrictions will be upheld with public safety in mind, but there will unfortunately be opposition from the greedy side of politics.

All shall be unveiled in the next couple of years, and if everything goes accordingly, we should be able to fly out of traffic jams in the next decade or so. Flying cars will guide us to a brave new world. Imagine: no more close calls with black ice (preaching to the choir of current weather hazard victims). No more long, windy roads up a mountain with no support  in order to get to a camping spot in Virginia. No more dangerous flooded areas one might get stuck in after intense rainfalls. Flying cars have the potential to provide us with all of this in the near and plausible future too!

Cheers to the Jetsons, and to a world of flying cars!

Related Article: Car Warming: Debunking the Myth

 

Research:

Terrafugia

The Transition

TF-X

Temporary Exemption for Terrafugia

Youtube: The Jetsons TV intro

 

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Solar Power Going the Distance! Literally.

Solar powered cars are something of the past, old news, been there done that. Shocking, I know. But I bet you’ve never thought about a solar powered airplane! Nope, I can’t say that I have either. In fact, when researching the new/old technology behind blimp ships and space shuttles capturing asteroids, one overlooks the thought of solar energy powering any of these vessels.

YES! They did it! The brilliant among us created solar powered fliers, and without any of us demanding it either! But then again who would want to fly Air Japan on solar energy and find themselves stuck in overcast for 12 hours, that’d be a big uh oh. Lets not “fly” ahead of ourselves just yet.

Solar Impulse has created just that miracle plane we are talking about. The Solar Impulse HB-S1A has a wingspan of 208 ft. and weighs only 3,500 lbs, not all too heavy because of its carbon fiber structure, and most of the weight comes from the solar panels. It was able to attain an altitude of 30,300 feet and stayed aloft for a record 26 hours, 10 minutes, and 19 seconds at an average flying speed of 43 mph. In fact, the plane continued to fly throughout the night on energy stored in the day.

This HB-S1A vessel was actually a prototype and in 2015 Solar Impulse plans to launch Solar Impulse HB-S1B which is expected to circumnavigate the Earth. I think the coolest thing about this newer model is that it will incorporate nanotechnology to help with battery storage. I am always excited about prospective new technology and its uses!

Can you imagine the implications of an airplane that flies on solar power? The cost reduction in substituting jet fuel for something easily attained on a clear day? How about just the thought of solar power being so effectively researched and put into use that our government will be forced to use it as an alternative source of power?! On a bad note, those poor birds; they don’t even stand a chance with more things in the air…  At least we can say that we got all the needed Vitamin D for the day when taking one of these bad boys out for a spin! Move over solar salamanders! Your’re yesterdays news.

Cheers!

 

Research:

Solar Impulse – HB-S1A

Solar Impulse – HB-S1B

Time: Solar Powered Plane flies around US

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