Thursday, March 02, 2006

Flying Cars: Are We Ready For This Future?

You know the age-old question: It's the 21st century, so where are the flying cars?
Well they might not be as far away as you think. There have been numerous "flying cars" conceptualized, designed, end even produced over the years. But the folks at Terrafugia believe they have it right this time.

Terrafugia Folded

Terrafugia Extended
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It is a vison that's been etched into our minds by science fiction for a long time, but technology has reached a point where flying cars could soon become a practial reality. In fact, Terrafugia plan to have working prototypes of their "Transition" PAV (Personal Air Vehicle) within the next couple of years, and there are many others working on similar concept craft.

Apart from the technology becoming real, the FAA's recent adjustment to flight hour requirements for obtaining a Sport Pilot license makes it possible for more people to own and pilot these "flying cars" and similar craft once they become available.

That said, we are obviously still far removed from having a viable infrastructure in place for flying cars and the like. Air traffic control, crash safety, and incident response are just a few of the major issues to address.

Besides, if the questionable automobile piloting behavior I see displayed on the highways and surface roads in my daily commute projects over to the air, the skies of the near future seem like a treacherous place indeed. We might be able to build cars that fly, but until we can build cars that fly themselves, maybe commuting with wheels a while longer doesn't sound so unattractive.

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