Boston Globe on the Chinese acquisition of Terrafugia, a flying car company

Terrafugia, an MIT spin-off roadable-aircraft company (“flying car” sounds better) is being acquired by the Chinese owners of Volvo. I’m quoted in the Boston Globe story on the subject.

[Readers: Yes, I’m aware that this posting will be primarily of interest to my mom and dad! No need to point that out.]

The journalist did not quote what I thought were the most interesting things that I said. I pointed out that Terrafugia was founded before Uber. The existence of Uber makes an airport-bound airplane more useful and therefore a $50,000 used Cessna or Piper or $150,000 used Cirrus is almost certainly more practical as transportation (though of course plenty of people will buy a flying car just as a fun toy). I also pointed out that the main value of Terrafugia might be the team that understands something about certifying airplanes under the LSA standard. Geely might not want to make flying cars, but perhaps they want to make electric trainer airplanes?

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6 Comments

  1. jack crossfire

    July 16, 2017 @ 9:49 pm

    1

    It was around the halfway point in the dot com boom when the Moller Sky Car started making headlines. Perhaps the current flying car bellwether means we’ve reached the halfway point in the reinflation boom. With asset prices lifting off as fast they are, a flying car startup is a much better investment than cash.

  2. Alan

    July 16, 2017 @ 11:50 pm

    2

    At the moment cost of capital in China much lower than in the USA and fear of liability litigation much smaller. When those turn in the near future Terrafugia will be available again at a fire sale price.

  3. Finn

    July 17, 2017 @ 1:47 am

    3

    It will turn out to be a bad deal for them just as Mooney, Diamond, collapsed Beech talk, as well as Cirrus (even though it appears to be moving more aircraft than others).

  4. Zapiens

    July 17, 2017 @ 11:10 am

    4

    Great quote in the comments:

    “It’s an expanding economy with an expanding affluent class. Boats, planes, and divorces to follow.”

  5. MVI5

    July 20, 2017 @ 4:00 pm

    5

    If you like the Russians and you like flying vehicles you can see a new flying motorcycle prototype here

  6. MVI5

    July 20, 2017 @ 4:01 pm

    6

    Don’t know why the previous clip is embedded. I just copy and pasted the link.

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