Have you ever wished that your car could fly when it is stuck in traffic ? Would you want to be like Baby Boomer who remembered the cartoon program the Jetsons? What would you pay to never have to set foot in a regular airport again for national travel?
If you are an American Baby Boomer you certainly remember the popular cartoon show called the Jetsons! It was everyone’s desire to live the Jetson life back in the 1950s; robots doing your chores, and cars that could fly. I imagine that at least one of the co-founders from MIT is a baby-boomer- or baby-boomers kid, who was inspired by that very program.
Look up, it’s a bird, it’s a plane…no – it is not Superman. It’s a plane…no it’s a car…no it’s the Transition. The Terrafugia (literally meaning “escape from the land” in Latin) company has developed the latest concept in flight technology; called the Transition. Although it has been in the works since the 1950s, curiously, it is now available for the truly moderate price of $ 194,000.00, considering that a road-bound model 599 Ferrari costs upwards of $ 350,000.00.
I imagine that many of you private pilots and frequent flying executives will be researching the details in light speed. We all hate the airport dashes to make a flight, the baggage problems, the possible viruses on board commercial planes, the cost of chartering private planes, the problems of owning your own plane, costs of hangar space, and having to get to and from the airport. Those challenges may be a thing of the past. With this brilliantly designed vehicle you can go from the airport right to your home and park this thing in your garage!
I’ve taken flying lessons, my husband was a pilot, and having sat in the cockpit of a small plane, I realize that there were definitely some very big engineering challenges the developers of the Terrafugia had to overcome. How did they create an airplane with an engine strong enough to lift and propel this vehicle but one that does not overheat in standstill traffic? The manufacturers in Woburn, Massachusettes definitely had some brilliant engineers on their team from MIT.
In this two-person cockpit they had to design controls that included a gas pedal, braking system, steering wheel, rudder pedals and a whole host of instrumentation to assist a pilot mid-air. They also needed to develop a craft that would not be too heavy. So the Terrafugia’s Transition has passed all air regulatory constraints and must weigh in just below 1,500 lbs fully loaded with passengers and gear, about the size of a Mini Cooper.
The company tells us that transitioning from car to plane and from plane to car takes place in as much time as it takes to lower a convertible top! In the air it can fly for up to 460 miles at an air speed of approximately 110 miles per hour. It is designed to fly at altitudes under 10,000 ft.
Was it wise that the FAA has reduced the air time required to receive a pilot’s license on these vehicles to just 20 hours? I couldn’t venture a guess on that one, however, that is one-half of the required regular flying time for heavier private planes. Yikes! Is that a good idea? I think we’d better be checking to see how many of these people have good driving records as well.
This new car/plane can zip along highways at about 60mph and fills up on premium gasoline, a more environmentally friendly way to fly. There is no need for jet fuel which is much more costly and poses higher toxin levels to our air. Gas mileage is said to be 30mpg.
On top of the construction of this vehicle/craft and all of the regulatory red tape and safety issues the company came up against, as a business owner, I know that marketing this vehicle would be paramount to the financial success of the company. Did they get enough upfront orders? It appears so! At this time there are orders with down payments for 80 of the Transition. That means the Terrafugia company stands to bring in $ 15,520,000.00 at the get-go in 2011. Not bad at all.
The company has plans to manufacture 300 to 400 annually. Now, I must add one word of caution if you are thinking of running out to make a down payment on this Jetson technology; you might want to wait until more pilots have flown one. At this time, it is my understanding that only one air force colonel has test flown the Transition; he did give it rave reviews.
So, here we are Baby Boomers, in the throes of our childhood dreams coming true. Haven’t we all wished our cars could fly? What’s next -Time Machines in our garages? You’ve gotta wonder!
Be safe, be well, have fun, and love life!
Janet Angel is a sought-after wellness expert with advanced degrees in nutritional biochemistry and psychology. She believes that everyone needs to educate themselves on the wellness opportunities available around the world. Dr. Angel has counseled many prominent citizens across the United States and has participated in several international research programs surrounding health. She has been a guest on many radio programs, is a public speaker, author and seminar leader. Dr. Angel believes that the body has the innate ability to heal itself in most circumstances, given the right environment, the right elements and the opportunity. For further information on her drive to help others reach their fullest potential, please go to http://www.Totallywell.com.