the Wright Brothers
first flew an airplane -- that worked, anyway -- aviator
unveiled his auto plane at
American Aeronautic Exposition
. The car-plane hybrid was billed as a flying limousine, though it could only hop down the road and was never mass produced. Possibly because they forgot the end of it.
Our number one story, as long as there have been planes and cars, there have been people trying to get rich selling hybrid plars . The latest is the
, which now has the all clear from the
Federal Aviation Administration
; the transition is more like a plane that drives, rather than a car that flies. On the ground, the wings fold up like an accordion, without the noise, and extend in 30 seconds for liftoff. One tank of regular unleaded gas will fly you 400 miles in the air. you get 30
Miles per gallon
on the road. Some of the craft`s safety specs, like parachute, airbags, safety cage cause the craft to surpass acceptable weight limits for the
light sport aircraft
designation, 110 pounds too much. An exemption granted. All
has to do is let customers know their plar is a little overweight. The
light sport aircraft
designation means owners would need only 20 hours of practice before legally flying this thing. Its plar`s price tag, just 194,000 dollars, but includes the true coat. And even though the it still needs -- it would probably be the way that should be written -- needs crash testing before going to market, the company says it`s already taken 70, count them, preorders.
has been covering the
for more than two decades and is currently a correspondent for
, thanks for your time tonight.
DAVID KILEY, AOL AUTOS CORRESPONDENT:
Glad to be here.
says this thing is OK to fly. Who has to say whether or not it`s OK to drive the damn thing?
Well, that will be the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
. But, you know, they also green lighted the
. So the standard for achieving street legal is not that high.
It seems to me, also, this -- it misses the point of the
. For it to be a
, you have to be able to be driving it and then suddenly push a button and you take off and fly, don`t you? Isn`t that the premise of the
That would be great. I mean, I was driving on
two weeks ago, and it took me nine hours to get from
, where ironically that`s where
is. I think that was the inspiration for the
, is being on 95 on a Friday in June. But actually, I mean, that`s the thing. You have to fly this thing from
, so it`s not like you can be frustrated with the traffic, pull over on the shoulder, get up a head of steam and do a
chitty chitty bang bang
over all the traffic. That`s what we`d all like. But still, you know, I think these guys are great. They`ve come up with a pretty innovative thing. These are also, by the way, the same guys who developed the spork, the combination spoon and fork, for people -- I`m actually kidding about that.
I got you on that.
But the dual purpose invention is a fascination that captures a lot of people`s imagination.
Twenty hours practice time for flying it, does that sound -- I know you`re a car guy more than a plane guy. But 20 hours, is that enough?
You know what? I don`t think so. I couldn`t learn how to play the clarinet in 20 hours, let alone fly one of these things. And the last time I checked if I played the clarinet badly, I wouldn`t kill anybody. So I`m not -- but, you know, flying one of these, I think -- frankly, I think the standard is a little low for training, but that`s me.
Has anybody thought about the impact of this thing during police chases? I mean --
I think it`s
only a matter of time
. I`m sure
has, but I think he`s strapped for the 10
deposit. But the -- it will happen. Once these are out and once people are driving them, there will be somebody who goes out and wants their
moment. And they`re going to be on a lonely sort of highway or
at 6:00 in the morning, and they`re going to want to do it. Whether or not that extends to somebody who is actually fleeing the police -- you know, anything is possible.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
will be joining us later to discuss the implications of that.
and his own standup act, much obliged.
Thank you very much