Flying car takes off in the US

An American company just announced the first flight of its so-called flying car. Could this be the solution to Metro Manila's leg-cramping traffic jam?

After six months of testing, aircraft firm Terrafugia, Inc. finally unleashed the wings of Transition, a two-seater propeller plane that can turn into a front-wheel drive car in less than 30 seconds.

Terrafugia said Transition, which flies and drives on unleaded gasoline, is just like a regular car on the road as it can run at highway speeds of over 115mph (185kph).

"This breakthrough changes the world of personal mobility. Travel now becomes a hassle-free integrated land-air experience. It's what aviation enthusiasts have been striving for since 1918," Terrafugia chief executive Carl Dietrich said in a statement.

While it can fit a standard household garage, the Transition needs a general aviation airport for taking off and landing.

One is required to get a sport pilot license to fly the Transition. A valid driver's license is also required for those who will use it as a mode of land transportation.

Terrafugia said the first Transition will likely be commercially available by 2011.

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