Elon Musk, the California entrepreneur who heads electric car company Tesla Motors and rocket builder SpaceX, wants to combine aspects of each by developing a car that can fly.
“We could definitely make a flying car — but that’s not the hard part. The hard part is, how do you make a flying car that’s super safe and quiet? Because if it’s a howler, you’re going to make people very unhappy,” Musk told the Independent, a British newspaper in an interview pitching the rollout of a right-hand drive Tesla Model S electric sports sedan in Britain on Monday.
Musk’s Tesla electric car company wouldn’t be the only business looking to make cars fly — which would be a convenient trick in Musk’s hometown Los Angeles, given the clogged traffic in Southern California.
Terrafugia Inc. of Woburn, Mass., is developing the Transition, a two-seat aircraft with foldable wings that can drive on roads.
Instead of a flying car, Terrafugia calls its vehicle “a street-legal airplane.” It has a steering wheel as well as gas and brake pedals. The Transition is undergoing test flights.
Terrafugia isn’t the first company to try to get a car off the ground. For more than a century, daredevil aviators and freethinking engineers have attempted the concept.