Terrafugia Transition: Up close with a real flying car

When Terrafugia unveiled its flight-worthy Transition production prototype to the press at the 2012 New York International Auto Show, it was hard not to feel completely mixed. On the one hand, flying cars are about 12 years late (the year 2000 being pegged, of course, as "the future" by so many mid-century futurists), and the Jetsons-like dream the concept inspires is buried by decades of disillusionment. People already have enough trouble driving cars. Flying them? Yeah.

On the other hand, you could say that what Terrafugia is showing off is a genuine flying car. It's street legal in Massachusetts. Chief test pilot Phil Meteer can drive the Transition on a regular road like a car. On March 23, he took the production prototype — which you see in our pictures here — into the air just like a plane. The name, Transition, comes from the fact that the cockpit includes controls for either modes without compromising: you drive the craft as you would a car; you fly it as you would a light plane.

So, the question is: is the world ready to accept the Transition as the first true flying car? We'll have more thoughts on Terrafugia and the Transition very soon, so stay tuned. Until then, down below are photos from the unveiling with plenty of extra info.

Terrafugia, via New York International Auto Show

All photos shot on location by Jon Erwin for DVICE.

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