Flying Car Cleared to Hit Roads and Skies in 2012: Reports

The Terrafugia Transition, aka flying car, last week made a significant step towards finally being able to take off from roads in the U.S. as it was cleared to do so by the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration.

Although there are still some issues to resolve before we actually get to see the car taking-off in roads nearby, some news outlets have reported that the half-car, half-plane may hit the roads and air by the end of 2012.

Carl Dietrich, the founder of the project, took five years to finally reach this point and he could've certainly taken less time if it wasn't for authorities last year calling for design changes to the flying vehicle that amounted to $18 million.

However, to Dietrich it seems that reaching this point was worth the wait.

According to Fox news, the company now plans to expand globally with its first destination being Europe.

The U.K.'s Daily Mail quoted Jonathan Nicholson of Britain Civil Aviation Authority with saying, "The bulk of the work has already been done in the U.S., safety standards are very similar between there and Europe," hinting that the clearance in the U.S. might allow clearance in Europe to be uncomplicated.

The cost of the innovative vehicle stands at $230,000, with Fox news reporting that 100 people already paid $10,000 deposits to have one secured. In Europe, about 10 people seem to be interested so far.

The car can take off from any straight path and reaches up to 115 mph in air and 62 mph on land. Once on land, it takes 15 seconds for its wings to contract as the kinetic energy is transferred to the rear wheels.

People with light-aircraft licenses will have the permission to fly the vehicle, although they will be required to 20 hours of flight training prior to their first take-off.