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FAA floats a break to flying car

By giving the Terrafugia Transition a weight exemption, allowing it to fulfill road safety requirements, the FAA brings the flying car closer to fruition.

This 4th of July weekend, you might, either at its beginning or its end, find yourself wishing your car could fly.

Thanks to a new FAA decision, this wish might seem slightly less Peter Pan and slightly more Peter Perfect.

It seems that the soaring minds behind the Terrafugia Transition have secured a remarkable weight exemption from the FAA, allowing it to carry such vital necessities as crumple zones, airbags, and a structural cage on its revolutionary flying car.

No, the airbags won't help much in the air. But road safety is just as vital for this dual-purpose flying machine. And road safety can be quite heavy.

According to the Register, Terrafugia has managed to persuade the FAA to allow its little plane to be a little heavier than the normal little plane--110 pounds heavier.

A previous iteration of the Transition. Look, it's a flying Ford Focus. Terrafugia

Light sports aircraft are normally required to weigh in at 1,320 pounds. Terrafugia very much wanted the transition to be classified as a light sports aircraft because it is so much easier to get a pilot's license for one of these things. There is less documentation, and you need only 20 hours of logged flying time.

So the MIT engineers behind this escapade must have their heart aloft and their brains aflutter at this welcome indulgence from the FAA. The Transition seems like quite an experience, with its folding wings and its 115 mph cruising speed--in the air, that is.

So one can only look forward to the OshKosh air show to view the latest iteration (in graphic form only, unfortunately) of a machine that could make us all far more tolerant on the roads. And, perhaps, far less tolerant in the air.

One can barely wait for the day when, on one's local TV station, a Terrafugia dealer offers special reductions and claims that they are flying out of the showroom.