Terrafugia “Flying Car” nearing first delivery
By Design Engineering StaffGeneral flying car Terrafugia
Second generation Transition drive-able airplane completes first flight.
New York, NY & Woburn, MA – Terrafugia, makers of the Transition Street-Legal Airplane, announced that its “flying car” took a step closer to becoming commercially available. The production prototype recently completed its successful first flight at Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, NY. The Transition is a two-seat, personal aircraft capable of driving on roads and highways, parking in a single car garage, and flying with unleaded automotive fuel.
The Transition’s first flight reached an altitude of 1,400 feet above the ground and lasted eight minutes to demonstrate the controllability and safe operational characteristics of the aircraft. Six phases of flight testing are planned to continue development and demonstrate compliance to the Light Sport Aircraft standards.
Prior to its first flight, the Transition was certified both road and sky worthy. In July 2011, it passed U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations, allowing it to be driven on the road. The year before that, it satisfied the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s rules thereby certifying that it can be flown as a Light Sports Aircraft.
In the air, the Transition can travel at up to 115 mph (185 km/h), carry a little over 460 lbs. and cover just short of 500 miles. On the road, the rear-wheel drive car mode gets about 35 mpg with a range of approximately 100 miles. For safety, the Transition has passed road vehicle crash testing and can be outfitted with a full vehicle parachute.
Terrafugia projects that customer delivery will begin next year for those who have made pre-orders. When the Transition becomes generally available for sale, it will cost around $279,000—about the same as a small airplane.
The Transition Production Prototype is presently on display (April 6-15th) at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.