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To Hell with the TSA, Fly Yourself in an Aircar (Maybe)

RocketIn reading this press release, I can’t help but imagine Johnny Knoxville in Jackass Two. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you’ve seen the clip with ole’ Johnny strapped to the rocket on the previews.

When you hear the words “Magic Dragon,” I bet you think of Puff. Whether it be the cartoon, the Peter, Paul and Mary song or just the conversation between Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro in Meet the Parents. Well, now Magic Dragon refers to a very different thing. It is the name given to Safety Analyis Systems Company and it’s subsidiary StrongMobile Systems Engineering’s concept project, the Magic Dragon Aircar. According to the press release issued to The Auto Channel on September 22, the aircar is ready for prototype. Orders are being taken and delivery is estimated to begin in 2010.

For real.

I bet you can guess who is the target consumers will be. That’s right, we the business travelers. The aircar will be geared toward business professionals who frequently travel regionally and are motivated by the anticipated time savings.

Beats the heck out of a new Ford Taurus, huh?

If all goes according to plan, the Magic Dragon will transfer from the road to air-ready with the touch of a button. One to four passenger models are proposed, with corresponding room for gear. Automotive fuel is the aircar’s drug of choice, so no added inconvenience there. Okay, so I’m pretty skeptical of the website, as it uses the phrase “as if by magic.” That sounds like sales-person jargon, not so much like aeronautical engineer speak. Maybe even a little infomercial-ish. I guess that’s where he got the name. He does include tons of research on his site, which sounds great to me but I’m no rocket scientist.

Richard Strong has been his own biggest supporter on the web, commenting on numerous articles on the subject. I’m afraid Rich is going to have a really tough time getting people to cough-up the nineteen large for the deposit. After fifty years of development, I think Richard is just looking for a legacy and wants to see his dream become a reality while he can. I have to love him for his vision. Few people in this world are that passionate about anything so I wish him the best.

Maybe it’s about time to start those long awaited flying lessons, maybe not.