Flying car is cool but will it really save energy?

Next month a small company in Woburn, Mass. plans to unveil something sure to gain the attention of more than a few aviation enthusiasts.

And just about anybody else.

Terrafugia has created an airplane it says can master the roads as well as the skies. After a flight, the pilot just folds up the wings and takes off, a feature that "reduces the cost, inconvenience and weather sensitivity of personal aviation," officials say.

"It's the future of personal aviation," says Richard Gersh, vice president of business development at Terrafugia, in a story by Ucilia Wang on "We are the first company that has a high chance of success at a commercially viable product."

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration granted the company extra takeoff weight to allow the design of road safety features, officials said. The FAA's approval of an additional 110 pounds -- to 1,430 -- "will allow a competitive useful load while providing a revolutionary level of crash safety in a light sport aircraft."

Terrafugia's aircraft, dubbed the Transition, will be unveiled officially at a press conference at 10:30 a.m. July 26 at the EAA AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisc. The company, which was started four years ago by five pilots from MIT, says it successfully completed flight and drive testing last year and expects to make its first delivery late in 2011.

The price: $194,000. But with a projected range of 460 miles and a 20-gallon fuel tank, mileage of 23 mpg isn't bad. And no idling in traffic.

The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization is a nonprofit dedicated to improving our region's quality of life by increasing its production and use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley.