Flying car in March - photo by TerrafugiaInstead of driving through morning rush hour, what if you could fly over it?

Terrafugia Inc. said that it hopes to begin selling its 2-seat flying car with folding wings within the next year. On March 23, its production prototype flew its successful maiden voyage for eight minutes at an altitude of 1,400 feet.

The dual-purpose flying machine, called Transition, carries vital necessities of the road, such as airbags, and a structural cage on its revolutionary flying car, which has a 115 mph cruising speed (in the air).

The Transistion is capable of driving on roads and highways, parking in a single car garage, and flying with unleaded automotive fuel.

CEO and co-founder Carl Dietrich said, “This first flight is a major milestone for Terrafugia. With this flight, the team demonstrated an ability to accomplish what had been called an impossible dream. We look forward to continuing to show that the challenges of bringing a practical street legal airplane to market can be overcome.”

Around 100 people have already put down a $10,000 deposit to get a Transition when they go on sale, and those numbers will likely rise after Terrafugia introduces the Transition to the public later this week at the New York Auto Show.

Terrafugia is Latin for “escape the earth.” The ticket price to do so? $279,000.

(READ more in the AP story in the Washington Post)

WATCH the 2009 video demonstration below and visit Terrafugia’s website to see photos of the current Transistion, which looks a bit different than the earlier model shown below…

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