Terrafugia is the best flying car manufacturer in the world. Wait, let me rephrase. Terrafugia is the ONLY flying car manufacturer in the world. At $279,000 each, it is quite a bargain given its capability to fly at great efficiency, that is, 18.9 L/h on gasoline. Both driving and flying are as easy as with a normal car. You can’t ask for more. Unfortunately, at their website, they keep on talking about their next generation of flying cars, TF-X, to be mass produced with sufficient demand. So, $279,000 is the price tag before mass production. Impressive indeed!
Why don’t I fly one? Good question! Firstly, I live in Canada, so I will need to import it. It’s not a problem, because I can simply drive it across the border, if I am lucky, after taking it out of its factory. Refueling is as easy as going to any gas station on the road. Taking off and landing can be done without an airport, though it is recommended that a community airport be used for this purpose. What is the problem? Well, it is still a bit too expensive for me, as I will need to sell a house of mine to buy one. I am not that desperate yet. Secondly, I need to change the tires every spring and fall. I am not sure if I really want to drive to the U.S. to do this every time. Car dealership is important, because dealers take care of everything for you, including repairs and regular maintenance. Without dealership, I’d better wait for now. Thirdly, car insurance is not regulated for flying cars. Driving a car without insurance is illegal in Canada. However, this is probably less an issue to worry about. A good insurance broker can probably get me a good deal with a little premium every year. For me, the absence of dealership is the biggest problem. Terrafugia doesn’t really care about this. It is still a research company, as they have no plan in expanding production for Transition, their first flying car. For them, Transition is simply not good enough. TF-X is the future!
Terrafugia is a good company, as they tell you upfront that the price will go down as soon as possible, depending on demand. Most companies don’t do that, because customers don’t want to buy if they know the price will go down soon. The good news is, Transition will never be mass produced, so you don’t have to worry about being ridiculed by your friends for buying too early. However, when TF-X is out, you’d better wait a bit for quick price changes. It’s a team of MIT engineers with a great vision and dream, the Google of the car industry. I am pretty sure that an experienced CFO will join them soon for some fundamental revamp of the business model. For now, if you just want to show off to your neighbors, Terrafugia is your best friend.
If you ask for my advice, I say you should always wait for competitors to show up in the industry to drive down the price and up the quality. Monopoly is never a good thing. Nevertheless, you are in the good hands of Terrafugia, a team of top MIT engineers that actually care more about you than about their money. Stay tuned!