A few MIT students are designing a flying car and are aiming for the year 2009 to start manufacturing it:
Plenty of other kids (and gridlocked commuters) have had the same dream, of course. The difference is that Dietrich believed he could one day design a flying car. Now, at 28, he is doing so.
For the past year, he and two others have quietly been developing plans for a flying car, or Personal Air Vehicle. Dubbed the Transition, it is still in the design stage, but they hope to begin manufacturing it by 2009. Already they have applied for four patents with the US Patent and Trademark Office and have discussed their plans with Federal Aviation Administration officials.
Few who know Dietrich would bet against him. Even by MIT's standards, he is considered a standout -- so much so, in fact, that today he will be announced as the winner of the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize. An outside panel of scientists and technologists chose Dietrich for his ''portfolio of novel inventions," including not just the flying car but also a desktop-size fusion reactor and a lower-cost rocket engine.
They're not the only ones trying to get flying cars off the ground, though. Also have a look at this SkyCar.