The flying car may be something of an internet joke, but a US firm has just announced the first successful test flights for such a vehicle.
The Terrafugia Transition is a road-legal two-seater car running unleaded petrol that has foldable wings. These can be deployed automatically in about 30 seconds, and the car can take off and cruise for about 400 miles on a single tank of petrol.
The car has now been shown to work, taking its first test flights at Plattsburgh International Airport with Colonel Phil Meteer, USAFR (Retired), at the wheel.
"This breakthrough changes the world of personal mobility. Travel now becomes a hassle-free integrated land-air experience. It's what aviation enthusiasts have been striving for since 1918," said Carl Dietrich, chief executive of Terrafugia.
Once airborne the vehicle is capable of flying at 115mph and uses about five gallons of fuel per hour to drive the rear-facing propeller. As a car it gives approximately 30 miles to the gallon in normal use.
While users will have to be qualified pilots, the Federal Aviation Authority recently opened up a new class of licence for 'light-sport aircraft', which can be obtained in half the time of a full pilot's qualification.
Around 40 people have put down a $10,000 (£7,000) deposit for the car. The final price is expected to be about $200,000 (£140,000).
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