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U.S.-firm Terrafugia has developed a prototype vehicle that can be flown as well as driven.  The company's Transition vehicle is described as "a more useful airplane" because it will be able to avoid traffic congestion by flying, yet could be driven on land in bad weather.  Users can push a button to release the vehicle's 10-foot wide wings.  About 15 seconds later, the vehicle's 100-horsepower engine transfers power from the wheels to the propellers in the rear, enabling it to fly.  Terrafugia wants to market the vehicle as a "roadable aircraft" and is seeking approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to label the vehicle as a light-sport aircraft.  The Transition will likely cost between $145,000 to $200,000, and the company has already received dozens of orders.  The prototype is expected to make its first flight in November, but no one outside Terrafugia will be allowed to view it.

November 12, 2008

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