Take-off! Flying car approved for skies

Safe to fly: Owners will need a pilot’s license and a driving license to use their cars.

Would they make life easier? Inventors of a new flying car say it could be on our roads in two years. Some hope it will change our lives – others say it is just another pointless gadget.

What’s happening

The year is 2030. A woman parks outside the sports hall waiting for her son to finish football practice. He comes out, opens the door of her car and climbs in.

She starts the engine, and they begin their journey home. The only difference? The car is flying.

Find out more

It might sound like science fiction, but it could soon be reality. Last week, a car made for roads and skies was marked safe to fly.

The car is called Terrafugia Transition. It can travel through the air at up to 100mph and reach heights of 10,000ft. It has a wingspan of nearly nine metres.

On land, its wings fold up neatly so that it can fit in a garage. At the moment, it has space for two people, but inventors hope to make a larger version in future.

Anybody with a pilot’s licence can now buy the flying version of the Terrafugia. But they will have to wait until 2022 for one that can go on roads as well.

If all goes to plan, there will be flying cars on the ground and in the air in less than three years.

But would they make life easier?

Some say…

Yes! Flying cars aren’t limited to roads, tunnels or train tracks. They can go anywhere! Nobody will need to travel in a plane with lots of other travellers. There won’t be traffic jams because there is so much space in the sky. They will make life more fun. What’s better than zooming off for a trip and looking down on the world from above?

Others think…

Not really. Flying cars would clutter the skies. There could be accidents because there are no road signs or maps. And they would get in the way and disturb people’s privacy. We should be more excited about the superfast hyperloop that will take you from Edinburgh to London in 30 minutes – or electric planes that will help the environment.

You Decide

  1. Would you rather fly a plane yourself or take a ride in a flying taxi?

Activities

  1. Draw a picture of your idea of what the world will look like in 20 years. Will there be flying cars? What else will have changed?

Some People Say...

“Flying may not be all plain sailing, but the fun of it is worth the price.”

Amelia Earhart, an early aviator

What do you think?

Word Watch

Science fiction
Books, films and TV shows that tell fictional stories about science and technology of the future.
Marked
The Federal Aviation Administration is an organisation in the US that tests planes to make sure they are safe. It has given a certificate to the Terrfugia.
Wingspan
The distance from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other.
Licence
A certificate that allows somebody to do something they would not otherwise be able to do. For example, drivers all need a licence to drive a car legally.
Privacy
A state where someone is not watched or disturbed by other people – when they can be private.
Hyperloop
A type of train that will travel up to 600mph.
Electric planes
Engineers have already successfully made planes that do not need jet fuel to fly. Many hope they could help make flying more eco-friendly in the future.

PDF Download

Please click on "Print view" at the top of the page to see a print friendly version of the article.