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Flying Maruti car at AeroIndia this year

Tuesday February 01, 2011 09:07:08 PM, IANS

New Delhi: India may soon have its own 'flying car', making the "Star Wars" movie fantasy a reality for Indians. And it will be showcased alongside fighter jets.

The AeroIndia show in Bangalore from Feb 9 will see this idea taking shape with a private company claiming that it has the technology to convert a Maruti-800 car into a flying machine.

The Defence Ministry has allowed the firm, identified by Defence Production Secretary Raj Kumar Singh at his press conference Tuesday as 'Bangalorean', to display the "Maruti-800 flying car" during the AeroIndia at Yelahanka air force station this year.

The car is among the products that the ministry has listed as part of its showpiece in this year's exhibition alongside fighter jets such as Eurofighter Typhoon, F-16s, F/A-18s, Gripen and Rafale.

"This flying car is a product from a Bangalore-based innovator. He says he has the technology with which he can use a Maruti 800 car as an aircraft. To encourage him, we have provided him space at the static exhibition for aerospace products," Singh said here.

Asked if the car would fly too in the air show, Singh said that would not happen as the product was yet to get Directorate General of Civil Aviation approval to take to the skies. And the firm has paid about $275 per sq mt for the space it would hire at the air show to display its product.

But the idea of a flying car itself is not hogwash. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has in June 2010 approved a hybrid car manufactured by Terrafugia called Transition Roadable Aircraft (TRA) that is capable of flying after its flight tests were successful since 2009.

TRA is expected to soon take to the skies and be available for commercial sale this year. The FAA gave the initial approval to carry on with the project. However, because it is also a car, it must also get the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) nod before it is allowed to ply on the road.








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