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Flying car lands at New York Auto Show

You probably won’t see a flying car in your driveway for years to come, but you can get a glimpse of one as early as next month.

On Thursday, Terrafugia Inc. announced plans to show the Transition, the company’s prototype car/plane, at the New York International Auto Show, April 6–April 15.

“We’ve had it at airshows before,” said Cliff Allen, the company’s vice president of sales, “but this is the first time we’re taking it to a large, general-interest audience.”

The vehicle — the company prefers the terms “street legal airplane” or “roadable aircraft” — is one of several projects in the works but probably the closest to taking off. It features hinged wings that fold down for flight and back up for highway driving.

“This is the actual production prototype,” Allen told msnbc.com. “This is the product we’ll be taking to market.”

At the show, visitors will be able to witness wing-folding demonstrations, watch videos and meet some of the people behind the project. Those interested in purchasing one will be able to put down a deposit ($10,000), the first step in owning one of the $279,000 vehicles.

“The Transition is a truly unique vehicle that represents an enormous step forward in how we view personal transportation,” said Show Director Alan Liebensohn in a statement. “We know it will be a huge crowd pleaser.”

In fact, the Transition’s reception at the show will likely serve as an indication of the vehicle’s potential acceptance outside the world of aviation. “These are people who aren’t necessarily aviation enthusiasts,” said Allen. “We’re hoping to gauge what the interest is in more of a general market.”

If all goes as planned, he added, the company hopes to be flying sometime this spring.

Try doing that in your new Prius or Cadillac.

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Rob Lovitt is a longtime travel writer who still believes the journey is as important as the destination. Follow him at Twitter.