PANAJI: A US-based company which has designed and tested a `flying car’, is looking at India, Brazil and China as the future markets.
Carl Dietrich, co-founder of Terrafugia, a US-based company which has developed a `roadable aircraft’, told PTI that the company would be launching the product commercially at the end of the next year.
The aircraft-cum-car has foldable wings, which are tucked in when it is on the road, and it becomes compact enough to park in a home-garage, he said, adding that it converts into a flying machine within 30 seconds.
“After the US launch, we will spread in Europe,” Dietrich said, adding that India, Brazil and China would be the future markets.
Dietrich, a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was here to participate in `Goa Think Fest – 2011’, a three-day conclave. The car is a workable commuting option, as building a short runway is cheaper than building a super-highway, he said.
It was reported in International Business Times on June 30 last year that the car-plane was recently granted a weight exemption by the Federation Aviation Administration (FAA), allowing its maker Terrafugia, to add airbags, an energy absorbing crumple zone and a protective safety cage aimed at road safety.
FFA said the vehicle is 110 pounds overweight to accommodate the safety measures but said it may be sold as long as buyers are made aware of it.
The prototype is capable of an air cruising speed of 115mph – rivaling most light sport aircraft in speed – and the vehicle’s owner just needs 20 hours of flying time to be eligible for manning the vehicle in air. The vehicle runs on regular unleaded gas and can cover about 400 miles before the gas tank becomes empty.
On land, the vehicle can get 40 miles to the gallon. And yes, the vehicle needs 2500 feet stretch of runway to take-off and land.
Terrafugia said the two-seater flying car can be parked easily in a standard garage and its wings wings fold up in less than 30 seconds.