A cutting-edge way to skip the gridlock and fly to work

July 15, 2006|By HARTFORD COURANT

Ever dream of commuting to work by air, hovering above traffic in a personal aircraft a la Inspector Gadget?

Dream no more.

For $1.5 million, you have the Springtail Exoskeleton Flying Vehicle from the California-based Trek Aerospace. With a 12-gallon tank, it can travel for more than two hours and for a distance of 184 miles. It moves at a top speed of 113 mph and hovers somewhere near 11,400 feet. It takes off vertically and can land on flat rooftops, parking areas and other small spaces.

Trek Aerospace began developing it a few years ago but hasn't sold any yet, possibly because of the steep sticker price. Wait until Trek Aerospace is mass producing them, when the price could go down to just a 10th of that.

"It's a million and a half now because I'm making them one by one," says Harry Falk, the company's founder.

With roadways getting ever more congested, Falk says, it won't be long before the sky is filled with multitiered airways full of personal aircraft such as the Springtail.

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