Flying Car Makers Tout Test Flights

If you’re looking for a car that gets decent mileage on the road but also functions as an aircraft when you’re in the mood to fly, you may have some options in the near future. The Terrafugia Transition Street-Legal Airplane is now one step closer to delivery after a successful prototype test flight, according to its Massachusetts-based manufacturer.

Terrafugia says it has taken about 100 pre-orders for the $279,000 vehicle, which gets 35 mpg on the road and can be fueled with unleaded automotive gasoline. That mileage is better than many of the top-rated vehicles at FuelEconomy.gov, though to be fair, the U.S. government does not yet have a Flying Car classification for fuel efficiency (the Transition is officially classified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a Light Sport Aircraft).

You can see what it’s like to drive and fly the Transition in the video below. It will also be on display at the New York International Auto Show April 6-15 in New York City.

If you’d like to shop around, the Transition isn’t the only flying car being readied for the market. As the Los Angeles Times notes, Netherlands-based PAL-V also recently concluded successful test flights of its vehicle, which flies using a folding rotor and propeller (see photos in the gallery above). The PAL-V (which stands for Personal Air and Land Vehicle) compares poorly to the Transition on road mileage — 28 mpg, according to the website — but the company does say “there will also be versions that use biodiesel or bio-ethanol.”

Terrafugia says the Transition has a flying range of 400 miles, while the PAL-V has a range of 220-315 miles. (In case you’re dreaming of lifting off right out of a traffic jam, note that both vehicles require a runway to take flight.)

Watch PAL-V’s demo video:

Which flying car looks like a winner to you?

(Related Photos: “New Flying-Car Design Revealed“)

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