For journeys too far to conveniently drive, the vast majority of people turn to public air transportation. In contrast to the automobile, however, air travel leaves us with very few personal choices - it has even become a metaphor for aggravation and inconvenience! Why? Because firstly, we have to plan ahead, search out fares and schedules and rearrange our schedule to suite what is available. Then, even though commercial aircraft are fast, the amount of time we spend on the ground typically far exceeds the actual flying time. Major airports are seldom in a convenient location and we usually have to battle traffic congestion en route. Then we must park our car, take a shuttle bus, line up to check in, line up to get through security, wait, line up to board the plan, sit and wait for ground and ATC clearance - all before we even get into the air. Frequently we have to change planes at another "hub" before finally arriving at our destination airport - then we wait for our luggage. After that, what? rent a car? take a taxi or public bus? or perhaps we get someone to meet us and take us to our final destination. Exactly the opposite of the self-determination or control we experience with an automobile.
In recent years we have become accustomed to having almost instantaneous access to information and people - and yet our ability to actually get from one place to another is slower and more difficult. Public transportation (including the airlines) is fraught with fears and frustration and our freeways are notoriously congested. The solution could come through the development of private aviation but, to achieve this, it has to be made more accessible and relevant. So how would a vehicle that offers the advantages of both the automobile and the airplane fit into this puzzle? Imagine getting into your car, telling it where you want to go and letting its GPS based system guide you there. There will be a road segment, followed by an air segment followed by a road segment - do you care? You will be at you destination, say 175 miles away, in one hour - door to door. A fantastic dream? Yes. An impossible dream? No.