The New Hampshire Senate passed a whole slew of bills yesterday, trying to catch up with COVID-related delays. Included in an overall transportation bill was HB-1517, “An Act Relative to Roadable Aircraft.”

I wrote about this bill last year, but it has morphed since then, as legislation often does. Mostly what it does is add the words “roadable aircraft” – flying machines that can also drive on roads, so you can drive to an airport, fly to another airport, then drive to your destination – to existing laws for vehicles concerning things like inspections and crashes. One tweak: They wouldn’t need a license plate if they’ve got an FAA tail number.

Also, it says: “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. “

It next goes to the House. If it passes there, on to the governor’s desk.

Tonight (June 17) Science Cafe New Hampshire will have its second virtual session that discusses this very topic: “Flying Cars – More than just a dream?” New Hampshire has a surprising presence in this field since two companies are here: Terrafugia, founded by MIT folks and now owned by the Chinese, flies its test craft out of Nashua airport, and European Pal-V, which is rolling out a three-wheel gyrocopter, has an office at the Manchester airport.

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