- The New Hampshire State Legislature has passed, and the governor has signed, House Bill 1182, which makes it legal to have a "roadable aircraft," better known as a flying car, in the state.
- These flying cars would have to take off and land from an actual airstrip, but the new law means they can drive there and back on public roads.
- New Hampshire is the first state to permit flying cars but surely won't be the last.
If, in the near future, you rob a liquor store in New Hampshire and flee in your flying car, an onlooker might say, "Don't worry. I got his tail number." That's because in New Hampshire, flying cars don't need license plates. So says the State Legislature in House Bill 1182, which makes it legal to register a flying car—or, as the 'Shire deems it, a "roadable aircraft"—in the Granite State. Which wasn't the case before, no matter what your cousin Denny did with his Chevelle on that wicked whoop on the road to Laconia. Like he told you, the flying's easy. It's the landing that's the hard part.
What won't be hard is registering your roadable aircraft in New Hampshire, now that the legislature has cut through the red tape like a propeller through your garage fridge because, jeezum crow, turns out your Terrafugia (pictured above) is longer than the Accord you used to park there. Maybe you should've bought a Samson Sky, which is a little bit shorter. There are so many choices in the flying-car market these days, it's hard to decide which one to buy. Like, there's Terrafugia, and Samson Sky, and that Dutch one. We'd say just get whichever flying car is different from your neighbors', because you don't want to see yourself coming and going at the local municipal airport.
That's where you'll need to take off and land, because the supposedly cool New Hampshire congresspeople are real sticks in the mud about using I-95 as a runway—although, we can all agree, flying your car up to 5000 feet would be a great way to avoid the Hampton tolls. According to the bill, "All roadable aircraft shall be required to take off and land from a suitable airstrip and shall be prohibited from taking off and landing from any public roadway, unless under conditions of an emergency." Emergency, you say? Well, we can argue over the definition of an emergency, but we don't need to argue that a car dropping out of the sky in downtown Portsmouth is a real crowd pleaser.
When a roadable aircraft—let's just use the less accurate but way cooler "flying car"—is driving on the street, the road rules apply. What else? When you get your flying car registered, there's going to be a municipal permit fee of $2000. On the other hand, you don't have to get an inspection. You'll definitely save some money on that, because you just know they'd find some play in your landing gear or say your beacon light was mis-aimed and then fail you unless you cough up to fix it right there.
Now that Governor Chris Sununu has signed HB 1182 into law, it's only a matter of time until New Hampshire is filled with flying cars, from Lake Winnipesaukee to Dalton and everywhere in between. And you can fly 'n' drive anywhere you want, as long as it's not to any other state. But we see that changing soon. As resident inventor Dean Kamen could tell you, New Hampshire is always out front when it comes to getting people flying.