A flying car that looks more at home on the set of the Jetsons or the latest James Bond movie has become a reality – and Subhash Shihora, a U.K.-based Gujarati entrepreneur, is jumping on board. Named “Transition,” the part-car, part-plane can fly but fold up its wings in less than 30 seconds for road travel, Mr. Shihora explained in a telephone interview. It doesn’t come cheap: when he booked the machine in 2009, it cost $200,000 but the final cost is expected to be $250,000 after taxes, he says. “The machine will look like a sophisticated sports car on road, and onlookers will not be able to identify its unique flying prowess,” he says. That may be debatable judging by these pictures of the plane on the road, but maybe.
Designed by U.S.-based Terrafugia (Latin for “escape from the land”), an aviation firm in Massachusetts, the two-seater has been designed to take off and land at local airports and drive on any road surface. Mr. Shihora saw the machine first in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, six hours from Chicago, in 2009. He says over 80 such air-cars have been booked and expects to get his early next year.
“An important reason to buy this car is that it provides flexibility of time. Since I’m a frequent flyer, I will be able to attend meetings in different cities in a day — from Ahmedabad to Mumbai, then to Bangalore, Hyderabad and back home,” he says. Mr. Shihora says he doesn’t need to book a hangar at airports and plans to park the flying car in his home garage in Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s business capital.