Next Big Thing – Terrafugia Transition flying car

Traffic problems? With this flying car birds will be the only traffic – and you can fly right through them

It looks like Herbie with wings. Surely it isn’t legal?

Who cares what you look like from a gridlocked car below while you reach speeds of up to 115mph through the clouds? Saying that, you’ll need 518m of road to get her off the ground – perhaps a police siren would be an advisable purchase too. We jest, that’s illegal – the car, on the other hand, is totally road and flight legal in the US. 

Sure you can beat the traffic, if you can afford the petrol...

You’ll be surprised to hear the road mileage is an impressive 35mpg, despite carrying a set of wings about with you. As for flying, its cruise consumption is five gallons per hour with a capacity of 23 gallons, giving you a flight range of about 490 miles. That’ll get you to Paris and back.

Only rich pilots can afford and be capable of owning and flying one

That’s the best bit: a novice only need spend 20 hours in Transition-specific lessons to be fully qualified to fly one. That’s less than most people take to learn to drive. As for cost, it’ll set you back about £150,000 – a drop in the ocean when compared with the cost to your soul from flying cattle class in low-cost airlines. And they can’t land at the pub.

Wow, what’s the catch and when can I get one?

There is one small niggle Terrafugia is working on. Currently the Transition can only manage to carry 150kg, meaning you and a thin friend might make it up, but with little else. You can have an optional full vehicle parachute installed – and without airbags, an electronic stability system or flight-safe polycarbonate windows, we’d more than recommend one. You can reserve yours now at Terrafugia for $10,000 with a 2012 release. In the US.


Next Big Thing – TriMove hubless trike

Next Big Thing – Colour flexipaper

Next Big Thing – Free Xbox games