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New Hampshire motorists may soon be sharing the roadway with so-called “flying cars.”
The state became the first one in the country to pass a law that allows the vehicles of the future to use public roads for driving, but not as runways for taking off. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed the transportation bill, HB 1182, into law setting up a process for the “roadable aircraft” to be registered and given a green light to use existing roads accessible to other drivers.
The vehicles, which sport retractable wings and rotors, are not yet available but several models are currently in development.
American flying car startup company Terrafugia is developing the Transition, which was originally slated for a 2019 release. The Chinese-owned corporation, based in Woburn, Massachusetts, has been developing the vehicle which has a two-seat cabin and a foldable wing.
For those of you who missed #Terrafugia at @EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in 2018, check out this time-lapse video of our booth! #GeneralAviaton #EAA #Aviation #GA #Travel #FlyingCars #Planes #Flying #Flight #Pilots #AirVenture #airplane #AirShow #Fly #Tradeshow #Oshkosh18 #avgeek #Tech pic.twitter.com/BwJNOzYChH
— Terrafugia Inc (@TerrafugiaInc) January 29, 2019
Samson Sky’s three-wheeled vehicle, the Switchblade, is supposed to be able to reach more than 100 mph on the road and more than 190 mph in the air and will sell from around $120,000.
In case you haven’t seen it, here is a nice view of the #Switchblade Dynamic Dash! We designed our dash to be clean, #elegant and easy to transition between driving and flying mode. #flyingcar #future pic.twitter.com/NBSaAbfAWx
— SamsonSky (@FlyingSportsCar) June 24, 2020
MORE PROOF THAT THE SWITCHBLADE IS THE MOST POPULAR FLYING CAR IN HISTORY!
In the last 39 days, 41 people have Reserved their Switchblade! Now on Reservation Position #1225, we have Reservation Holders and Owners in 36 countries, including all 50 States in the U.S. pic.twitter.com/FNhuO6KtwY
— SamsonSky (@FlyingSportsCar) April 28, 2020
A Dutch company is developing a three-wheeled, two-seat vehicle called PAL-V which is expected to sell for about $400,000. New Hampshire’s former state representative Keith Ammon now represents the company in the state.
New Hampshire Representative, Steven Smith told Forbes that Ammon “brought me a list of stuff we needed to address,” and he went on to sponsor the new law, nicknamed the “Jetson Bill” after the 1960s cartoon “The Jetsons.”
“I look for ways to boost our image as a state that embraces technology change. Maybe people will come here first,” the Republican said.
New Hampshire’s Jetson Bill allows the “roadable aircraft” which run on unleaded pump gas, to be driven on roadways but does not allow takeoff unless in an emergency.
And while the FAA-registered vehicles will be required to have license plates, safety equipment requirements will differ from those for lighter cars. In addition, the flying car operators will be required to have a pilot’s license as well as a driver’s license.
“This is a landmark event, and early adopters of this type of state legislation will be the leaders of a new transportation technology,” Sam Bousfield, CEO of Samson Sky, told the Union Leader. “This is something the public has been yearning for decades to see.”