Flying Car Could Hit the Market Next Year

"Transition" estimated to cost $279,000

By DEE-ANN DURBIN
|  Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012  |  Updated 12:25 PM EDT
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This March 23, 2012 photo provided by Terrafugia Inc. shows the company's prototype flying car, dubbed the Transition, during its first flight.

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Flying cars aren't just science fiction anymore.

Woburn, Mass.-based Terrafugia Inc. said Monday that its prototype flying car has completed its first flight, bringing the company closer to its goal of selling the flying car within the next year. The vehicle — dubbed the Transition — has two seats, four wheels and wings that fold up so it can be driven like a car. Last month, it flew at 1,400 feet for eight minutes. Commercial jets fly at 35,000 feet.

The Transition can reach around 70 miles per hour on the road and 115 in the air, spokesman Steven Moscaritolo said. It flies using a 23-gallon tank of automotive fuel and burns 5 gallons per hour in the air. On the ground, it gets 35 miles per gallon.

Around 100 people have already put down a $10,000 deposit to get a Transition when they go on sale, and those numbers will likely rise after Terrafugia introduces the Transition to the public later this week at the New York Auto Show. But don't expect it to show up in too many driveways. It's expected to cost $279,000.

And it won't help if you're stuck in traffic. The car needs a runway.

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