she flew to albuquerque, with her left blinker on all the way.

I’m an aviation nut and gadget hound, but even I think that this is a terrible idea:

The Terrafugia Transition, the world’s first car/plane hybrid.

Look, the carnage on our streets should give you a hint why it’s not smart to have the same idiots taking to the sky as well.  I mean, the third or fourth time some Granny confuses the throttle with the flaps, and dive-bombs into the underwear aisle at WalMart at 400 knots, most people will realize that adding another dimension to the afternoon traffic derby only adds more ways to die in fiery collisions…


39 thoughts on “she flew to albuquerque, with her left blinker on all the way.

  1. Dr. Feelgood says:

    I want one, and I don’t want anyone else to have one.

    What double standard?

  2. Ninjasuperspy says:

    What was it Carlin said? Everybody going slower than me is an idiot, and everybody going faster is an asshole? I can’t imagine the insanity of random people flying around… plus the fun of filling out a flight plan and trying to communicate with the tower at Target. Can you outsource air traffic control?

  3. Jay G. says:

    Anticipated purchase price: $194,000.

    Have we have a lot of little old ladies crashing their Lamborghinis?

    Didn’t think so…

  4. Jay G. says:

    AUGH! Have we HAD… Don’t post distracted!

  5. Phillip C says:

    Plus you have to get a sport pilot’s license, and it is only supposed to be flown between actual airports, it isn’t meant to land on a street.

  6. JD says:

    Sounds like a good idea if you have to have your pilots licence too. . . too bad no one can afford one. . .

  7. That’ll work until the first time some yutz backs into the think and crumples the living shit out of one of the two vertical stablizers or that little canard. The owner will be able to drive right to the mechanic at the airport to have it fixed and the logs signed off, and it will please the other driver’s insurance company no end to find out that they have to pay to have it fixed by a proper A&P and not some stoner hammer-jockey at a body shop.

    Drive it in the winter and road salt will play hob with it.

    Bottom line: You can buy that thing or you can buy a new LSA-rated airplane, a new Acura and probably have $40 grand or so left over.

  8. T.Stahl says:

    Oh, another competitor in a market the Moller Skycar is trying to fill since…uuh…mid-eighties?

    My guess is that it’ll soon acquire the same status as the Zoche Aero Diesel.

  9. Gerry N. says:

    The first? I don’ thin’ so, Lucy. Google AeroCar. Hell, google flying car and autogyro.

    Another result of the eleventy sixty four layers of professional, certified fact checkers hard at sleep.

    Gerry N.

  10. elmo_iscariot says:

    Y’know, if it’d prevent some dick from singlehandedly halving the speed limit by hogging the passing lane, I might be willing to sacrifice a few Wal Mart aisles.

    • Black Ice says:

      I feel your pain, but I’m for solidly mounting a large snowplow on the front of my truck and running down the hammer lane at 80. Cheaper, more satisfying, and apt to generate loads of cool YouTube movies. 😉

  11. MarkHB says:

    Oh, hush. I want one.

    What? My life-goal is to have more money than sense. What’s wrong with that?

    (Yes, I consider myself to have more than 200k’s worth of sense. It’s just sometimes I drink, you see….)

  12. Kristopher says:

    Muller was a fraud … he just kept scamming money from folks.

    Too early folks. Until someone invents anti-gravity, or a compact power source for a ducted fan, you have to have some skill to fly.

    When it gets “idiot proof”, then the fun begins.

  13. Tam says:

    Look, the carnage on our streets should give you a hint why it’s not smart to have the same idiots taking to the sky as well.

    Have we not thwarted Darwin long enough?

    I’m comfortable being sewn into my Wookie suit. Buy a plane and fly it. Be prepared to suffer the consequences. The Republic survived Orville’s lack of FAA certs.

    • Kristopher says:

      The CAA ( the FAA’s predecessor ) had to beg the last flying Wright bro to voluntarily take a free pilot’s license.

      They didn’t have the guts to tell him he couldn’t fly.

  14. Jenny says:

    I don’t know as the flying skill set is significantly harder than that for driving… if anything, the actual *flying* part is easier, as there’s less to run into. :p

    Sure you have to account for wind drift in navigation and get a feel for the whole glide slope thing, but at least VFR level stuff is something bush kids can easily pick up at Daddy’s knee, and the amount of “hey honey, take the stick for a while” would prolly freak any lower 48 FAA official.

    That said, I’ll agree until something like “antigravity machines” exist these plane-car hybrids are gonna just be expensive toys that make lousy planes and worse cars. Too many design compromises.

  15. OrangeNeckInNY says:

    Isn’t that how John Denver died?

  16. Sendarius says:

    This little doo-hickey or something very like it is not that far in the future.

    The trick to making the experience survivable is that the “driver” won’t fly it – a descendant of ALVINN (Autonomous Land Vehicle in a Neural Net) or RALPH (Rapid Adaptive Lateral Position Handler), will do that while granny knits a sweater and drinks a coffee.

    Already, Mercedes (and other) cars have full authority cruise control that will control speed with throttle AND brakes, and even stop the car in the event of an obstacle ahead.

    Imagine marrying that technology with something like Onstar so that some yet-to-be-created traffic management system interfaces with your car’s navigation system and cruise control – it knows where you and all other cars are headed, and can adjust traffic lights, etc to suit.

    That’s the future that is coming.

    • Jake says:

      until the software crashes, and then …

      there’s a reason why freight trains, which are run significantly by computer, have qualified conductors on them!

  17. Jenny says:

    Sendarius is almost certainly right, at least inside urban/suburban airspace. That said, it still won’t make airplane/car hybrids free of lugging around ginourmous airfoils and/or the fuel for big old turbines that would make life unpleasant for anyone around and underneath. Neither of which is exactly conducive to making them welcome on the roads or in neighborhoods.

    … and from what I’ve read, Mr. Denver’s crash was almost certainly the result accidentally shoving the controls off kilter while turning to adjust a control that had been moved – for safety reasons – to back behind his left shoulder.

    Fate is nothing if not ironic sometimes.

  18. crankylitprof says:

    I was promised a flying car.

    If I can’t have a unicorn, I want my fucking flying car.

  19. Will says:

    First thought: what happens when that front plate and bracket comes loose. Kiss a prop blade goodbye. And THEN the fun begins…

  20. ton says:

    You can buy that thing or you can buy a new LSA-rated airplane, a new Acura and probably have $40 grand or so left over.

  21. Paul Michael says:

    Um…it’s an airplane that is also street legal.
    It’s not a car that gives the occupants a pilot’s license. Pilots aren’t going to suddenly be turning their favorite 4-lane into a landing strip either.

    It’s a nice idea, niche market, and addresses the mobility after landing problem for private pilots.

  22. Antibubba says:

    Plus it’ll really discourage tailgating!

  23. Roberta X says:

    “adding another dimension to the afternoon traffic derby only adds more ways to die in fiery collisions…”

    Think of it as evolution in action! (Niven and/or Pournelle).

    I already drive no more than I must. One of these, for me, simply adds another dimension to not use. 🙂

  24. Don says:

    Look up the bob cumming show…The trailer shows a car-plane hybrid

  25. Agustin Keye says:

    You have a nice blog. I will be looking forward to more of your posts and have bookmarked it for future reference.

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