I have got to admit that I am a big science fiction fan. I love any film about the future and I often wonder what life will be like in a few hundred years time. If technology advances at the same rate that it has in the last 50 years then in 200 years time those people around should be in for a treat !
How people will travel or get from A to B in the future has always fascinated me. I have this hope that people will fly around in small vehicles which are guided to their destination automatically and also that these vehicles will use some sort of new propulsion system that hasn’t been invented yet !
So, I was exited to hear that maybe we are taking our first step in this direction next month when the first flying car makes its maiden flight. Flying cars have been talked about and have been seen in science fiction films for decades but now, an American company have built a prototype called the Terrafugia Transition. It’s a two seater plane that at the touch of a button converts into a road legal car. If the test flight goes well the flying car is set to hit the showrooms next year with a price tag of £132,000. It has a 100bhp petrol engine and, just like a car, has a steering wheel and brake pedals but no gears. It can fly at a cruising speed of 115MPH and can fly upto 500 miles on a full tank of fuel. On the road the flying car has a top speed of 85MPH.
There are problems though already. The insurance companies don’t know how to classify it yet and also you can’t take off from roads, you have to use an airfield, although if you live in Alaska, it is legal to take off from a road !
I have my own worries about the flying car though. For a start, many people in the UK can’t drive a road car properly so, can you imagine what it would be like if these drivers are let loose in the sky ! Then, of course you have the ‘boy racers’ who would be no doubt conducting dogfights with other flying cars. Would you still get tailgaters ? And would there be speed limits ? You would, of course, get those flying car drivers who customise their cars, so they would have bigger and louder propellers, blacked out windows and tuned engines for greater speed. How long would it be before some bright spark decided to replace the propeller with a jet engine !
And finally, what about the optional extras that might be available on the flying car ? Like standard cars I suspect that the best optional extras cost a lot more money, so I wonder if a parachute is one of those optional extras ? I also suspect that a GPS navigation system might be something worth investing in as well.
Having said all that, I just might be first in the queue !