It seems that the latest movement in vehicular design is the movement that sends roadworthy machines into the sky.
A couple of weeks ago came the news that the FAA was giving a regulation break to a flying car prototype, the Terrafugia Transition, allowing it to be classified as a light sports aircraft with heavy airbags.
Then it was said that the Marines might take possession of their own flying four-wheeler, courtesy of Logi Aerospace.
But now I bring joy to the privileged and pouty who will only drive labels that show their deep-seated power and class. I mean, naturally, not those who drive Xterras and Jeeps, but those who get behind the wheel of those boxy Mercedes SUVs that look so ugly when they're dirty. We can also include Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti SUV owners who would no sooner go off-road than they would be seen in Ross Dress-For-Less.
The AVX Aircraft Company of Texas, in response to the same DARPA research project that has spawned the Marines' flying machine, has developed a design for a flying SUV. Called the Transformer, it is said to have the capability to drive on roads at a mere 80 mph, on rough terrain at 30 mph, and fly at around 140 mph.
It is also designed to go 250 miles on just one tank of fuel. And it takes just 60 seconds to convert it from SUV to flying SUV.
Though the specifications for the DARPA project dictate that the design should "demonstrate a tactical four-person vehicle that can fly and drive on command," I feel sure that, ultimately, the target for these vehicles is not the military (the thing seems like such an easy target), but the people who live in large detached houses and loathe being caught in traffic.
Perhaps you, too, can see the likes of Tom Cruise and family escape the paparazzi by taking off vertically and returning back to their compound at 140 mph. Surely there has never been a more inviting concept for the Real Housewives and Househusbands of Beverly Hills, Malibu and certain, very select, parts of New Jersey.