A flying car called the Transition, of the Massachusetts-based firm Terrafugia, is designed to be driven both on the road and in the skies. It will go on sale in 2015, the same report said.
It's designed for pilots who want to be able to drive their planes home instead of parking them at the airport.
Transition is “part sedan, part private jet with two seats” with four wheels and wings that fold up when driven like a car, the report said. The release of the Transition is a prototype for another car-plane hybrid that is designed to be used by the masses, called the TF-X.
“We do want to create a flying car that can be used by a much broader segment of the population than just the pilot communities today,” said Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich in a Reuters video report.
If the project pushes through, the TF-X model by Terrafugia will have a range of 500 miles and a cruising speed of 200 miles per hour if the concept does push through.
The “flying car for the masses” will not require an operator with a pilot's license since it will take off, fly, and land autonomously.
The operator only needs to input a program that tells the vehicle where to go. Dietrich said that most planes in the present already have a sophisticated autopilot program.
“These vehicles that need to basically be able to fly themselves need to know where every other aircraft is in the air space, they need to know where the weather fronts are that they need to avoid, they need to know restricted airspace pops up, so they need to be tied in to basically a data network,” Dietrich said.
Such a network has yet to be developed. But Dietrich said that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been making great strides recently towards developing that network and he is confident a system would be up and running when the TF-X is ready to take to the skies.
However, there is still the danger of the system shutting down. Once that happens, the operator can pull a handle that deploys a rocket-deployed parachute system that brings the car down safely.