On March 5, at Plattsburgh International Airport in upstate New York, a “roadable aircraft” called Transition took flight for the first time. The flight lasted just 37 seconds (see video below), and according to the pilot, Phil Meteer, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, it was merely a brief, wheels-up test along the runway. Transition made six more test flights between March 5 and 7. The flights were approved by the Federal Aviation Agency, which inspected Transition prior to takeoff.
The weird-looking vehicle was developed by a startup based in Woburn, MA, called Terrafugia, which confirmed the test flight in a press conference at the Boston Museum of Science held this morning. The “aero-auto hybrid,” as the company calls it, was also temporarily on display in the museum’s main hall.
The aircraft is designed to be driven on public roads: its wings fold up in 30 seconds, and it operates in front-wheel drive and uses 27 miles per gallon. Transition also fits in a standard garage. In the air, it can reach speeds of 115 miles per hour on flights of 450 miles or less at 30 miles per gallon.
But sadly for budding flying-car pilots, it will not hit the market for at least two years, and even then it’ll cost around $194,000.
DeepMind’s cofounder: Generative AI is just a phase. What’s next is interactive AI.
“This is a profound moment in the history of technology,” says Mustafa Suleyman.
What to know about this autumn’s covid vaccines
New variants will pose a challenge, but early signs suggest the shots will still boost antibody responses.
Human-plus-AI solutions mitigate security threats
With the right human oversight, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence can help keep business and customer data secure
Next slide, please: A brief history of the corporate presentation
From million-dollar slide shows to Steve Jobs’s introduction of the iPhone, a bit of show business never hurt plain old business.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.