Images: Terrafugia's flying car

Images: Terrafugia's flying car

Summary: Forget the airborne jalopy in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." This start-up, with a strong dose of MIT smarts, means business.

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TOPICS: Start-Ups
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  • Terrafugia's flying car - front view

    It's just a scale model now, but the Transition "personal air vehicle" could be scooting through the air in just a few years. That's the goal of start-up Terrafugia, which is aiming to produce a fully operational prototype by 2008 and at least a few production models by the end of the decade.

    Terrafugia has a healthy helping of MIT cachet--and cash. It's a project of MIT grad student Carl Dietrich and colleagues at the school's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and is starting out with $30,000 from the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize.

  • Flying car - top view

    What kind of gas mileage should we expect from a flying car? The Transition should get 30 miles a gallon in the air, Terrafugia says--even as it hit speeds of 120 miles per hour. Its payload is expected to be about 430 pounds, which should be enough for two adults and a couple of overnight bags.

Topic: Start-Ups

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