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  Home > Newsletter > The Flying Car Takes Off — Meet the Transition® Street-Legal Airplane, June 2012

The Flying Car Takes Off — Meet the Transition® Street-Legal Airplane

Move over, George Jetson, the flying car is here. Imagine pulling out of your garage, driving to the local FBO and taking off — without changing vehicle. Sound like science fiction? Not according to Massachusetts aerospace company, Terrafugia, Inc.

Unveiled at NY Auto Show

At the April New York International Auto Show, Terrafugia Inc. unveiled the Transition® Street-Legal Airplane — a two-seater "driving plane" with foldable wings capable of driving on roads and highways, parking in a single car garage, and flying with unleaded automotive fuel. Apparently, you can fill the Transition with 91 octane at a gas station, drive it on the road to the nearest airport, unfold the wings, perform a preflight check and take off. The Transition® is classified as a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA). 

The Transition is made of high-strength composite material and features GPS, air bags and a vehicle parachute system. Terrafugia plans to sell the Transition by 2013 for $279,000. While the Transition® Street-Legal Airplane is still pending regulatory approvals, about 100 people have placed $10,000 deposits to be the first buyers of the vehicle when available.

Terrafugia, which means Latin for "escape the earth," is an aerospace company located in Woburn, Massachusetts and founded by pilots and engineers from MIT. The company’s mission is to design and deliver "revolutionary, practical air and land vehicles that provide freedom, flexibility and fun to their loyal customers."

Flying Car Closer to First Delivery

On March 23, 2012 at Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, NY, the production prototype of the Transition® Street-Legal Airplane completed its successful first flight. During the eight minute flight, the Transition® reached an altitude of 1400 feet above ground around Plattsburgh International Airport. The car-plane conducted initial drive and conversion testing and successfully demonstrated the controllability and safe operational characteristics of the aircraft.

According to a Terrafugia representative, it is an exciting time for the Transition® team and the success of the first flight is a critical move toward initial production and first delivery of the Transition®. The test flight has demonstrated the Terrafugia team’s ability to accomplish what had been called an impossible dream, and they are setting out to prove that the challenges of bringing a practical street legal airplane to market can be overcome. Terrafugia has six phases of flight testing planned for the Transition® to continue development and demonstrate compliance to the Light Sport Aircraft standards, and the company hopes to make first delivery of the Transition® next year.

For more information about the Transition®, visit Terrafugia.com.

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