Imagine, if you will, being stuck in a tail-back miles upon miles long, no hope of moving past your 2mph average speed any time soon and your frustration with the motorway infrastructure of our country becoming ever greater. Then imagine pulling out of the traffic, taking your wheels to the hard shoulder and putting your foot firm to the floor, using the slip road as if it were a runway at Heathrow. Thanks to the Massachussets-based Terrafugia Inc, taking your car to the skies is no longer a distant concept resigned only to the pages of science-fiction novels and the visuals of films, the congestion-avoiding ideal is closer than you might first think...
That's because the company has officially announced that its prototype 'flying car' has completed its first flight. Okay, so the experimental flying craft doesn't quite work as our dreams would have intended – the car needs a runway to take off, it's far from a looker – but the test flight video released by the company is still pretty incredible stuff, demonstrating the car adhering to normal road regulations before literally 'unpacking' into a vehicle we'd typically associate with an aircraft. Upon undergoing some vital pre-flight tests, it's then ready to take off and climb to its flying altitude of around 1,400 feet (commercial jets fly at 35,000 feet, to compare).
Dubbed the 'Transition', the flying car has already attracted around 100 people to put down a deposit of $10,000 in order to get the car when it goes on sale, which the company is hoping will be within the next year. It's also worth noting, in the case you're thinking of buying one, that drivers of the car will also need both a full driving licence would need to pass a test and complete 20 hours of flying time to be able to fly the Transition. With two seats, foldable wings, and through using special tyres and glass that are lighter than their automotive equivalents in order to make the craft more efficient in flight, the Transition hardly comes cheap - it's expected to cost around the $280,000 mark.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.