This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
Can crowdfunding help make flying cars a reality?
In the air, the Transition cruises at 100mph, has 20mpg mileage and a 400 mile range. On the road, the plane/car hybrid can hit 35mpg, and its 23 gallon tank gives it a range of 800 miles. Under official classifications, the Transition is considered a "multipurpose passenger vehicle" suitable for occasional off-road use.
Massachusetts-based firm Terrafugia believes so. It may seem like something out of the Jetsons, but the company is building a "roadable aircraft" -- otherwise known as a flying car.
While such an idea may spark the fantasies of the average consumer, it is investors that must be swayed -- and so Terrafugia has turned to crowdfunding platform Wefunder to make the vehicle a commercial reality.
After being founded in 2007, Terrafugia has managed to build and fly two prototypes after securing roughly $10 million in funding. However, in order to finish the design and manufacture of flying car no.3, the company has turned to a platform designed for the professional investor, offering converted stock notes in return for capital.
A model can be reserved for a bargain basement price of $10,000, and while you can become a sports pilot in less than 20 hours, training is also available to help experienced pilots understand the controls. The company has managed to secure over $30 million in pre-orders for a flying car, and the campaign has secured $10,419,100 in funding out of a $500,000 goal.