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Terrafugia’s Flying Car

Posted: April 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Aviation News | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Terrafugia’s Flying Car

Terrafugia says it has moved a step closer to making a flying car a reality, after successfully test-flying a street-legal aeroplane.


Massachusetts-based firm Terrafugia said their production prototype ‘Transition’ car-plane had successfully carried out an eight-minute test flight, clearing the way for it to hit the market within a year.

“With this flight, the team demonstrated an ability to accomplish what had been called an impossible dream,” founder Carl Dietrich said.

Terrafugia argues that the ‘Transition’ offers unparalleled freedom of movement, with a range of 787 kilometres. Spanning 2.3 metres, it fits into a normal-sized garage before unfurling an 8m wingspan.

To take advantage of the TRANSITION, would-be owners will need to have both a driver’s and pilot’s licence, with a minimum of 20 hours of flying time. The craft needs 762 metres of runway for take-off, meaning pulling onto the shoulder and escaping the traffic is not really an option. While many companies have tried to market an aerocar, none have succeeded in producing more than a handful of models.

The TRANSITION Production Prototype is on display at the New York International Auto Show April 6-15th at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.

“The TRANSITION street-legal airplane is now a significant step closer to being a commercial reality,” the company said. The two-seater craft costs around $US279,000 and some 100 vehicles have already been ordered.


“The successful first flight of this Production Prototype TRANSITION marks a critical move toward initial production and first delivery,” said COO Anna Mracek Dietrich.  The Production Prototype phase of the Transition® program follows Proof of Concept work which included a flying, driving Proof of Concept vehicle and was completed in 2009. The Production Prototype program includes two vehicles and is being used to develop and inform the manufacturing tool-up and compliance program necessary to begin commercial deliveries.    Terrafugia will continue its testing program in preparation for first delivery, which is expected to occur within the next year. the firm said via statement.


The TRANSITION’s first flight reached an altitude of 1400’ above the ground and lasted eight minutes while staying in the vicinity of Plattsburgh International Airport.  It demonstrated 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. Speaking about the first flight, Terrafugia Chief Test Pilot Phil Meteer said: “It’s a remarkable vehicle both on the road and, now, in the air.  When I drove it into the shop, literally from the road through the garage door, I was amazed that I had just flown it at Plattsburgh a few days before.  A long-overdue mode of transportation and fun is just around the corner.  I can’t wait for the upcoming flight tests and the chance to ‘wring it out’, demonstrating how safe and enjoyable the TRANSITION is to fly.”


Taking advantage of new FAA regulations in the Light Sport Aircraft category, Terrafugia developed the TRANSITION to provide pilots the convenience of a dual-purpose vehicle. Its unique design allows the TRANSITION to fold its wings and drive on any surface road with a modern personal airplane platform. Once at the airport, the wings extend and the aircraft is ready for take-off. Both folding and extending the wings is done from inside the cockpit. Terrafugia (ter-ra-FOO-gee-ah) was founded in 2006 by award-winning MIT-trained aeronautical engineers and MBA’s – who also happen to be passionate private pilots. The company’s mission is to provide innovative solutions to the challenges facing personal aviation. The result: the Transition Roadable Aircraft.


Every pilot faces uncertain weather, rising costs, and ground transportation hassles on each end of the flight. The Transition® combines the unique convenience of being able to fold its wings with the ability to drive on any surface road in a modern personal airplane platform. Stowing the wings for road use and deploying them for flight at the airport is activated from inside the cockpit. This unique functionality addresses head-on the issues faced by today’s Private and Sport Pilots.

Terrafugia’s award-winning MIT-trained engineers have been advancing the state-of-the-art in personal aircraft since 2006. Now you can streamline your flying experience with the revolutionary integration of personal land and air travel made possible by the Transition® Roadable Aircraft.




Max, Vh:
Cruise, Vc:
Stall, Vs:
100 kts (115 mph, 185 km/h)
93 kts (105 mph, 172 km/h)
45 kts (51 mph, 83 km/h)
425 nmi (490 mi, 787 km)
1700′ (518 m) over 50′ obstacle
Gross Takeoff Weight:
Empty Weight:
Useful Load:
1430 lbs (650 kg)
970 lbs (440 kg)
460 lbs (210 kg)
Fuel burn at cruise:
Useable Fuel:
Mileage on road:
5 gph (18.9 L/h)
23 gal (87L)
35 mpg (14.9 km/L)



Rear wheel drive on the ground
Automotive-style entry and exit
Two place, side by side
Automated electromechanical folding wing
No trailer or hangar needed
Cargo area holds golf clubs


Drive in case of inclement weather
Proven 100 hp Rotax 912ULS engine
Full vehicle parachute available
Modern glass avionics
Automotive crash safety features



80” (2m) tall
90” (2.3m) wide
18’ 9” (6m) long
78″ (2m) tall
26′ 6″ (8m) wingspan
19′ 9″ (6m) long
48” at the shoulder
Carry-on luggage
Golf clubs
Two place, side-by-side


Become a Sport Pilot in as little as 20 hours of flight time in a Transition®-specific course. For existing pilots, get comfortable quickly with the familiarization training included with every Transition® delivery.


Order Today
Place your refundable $10,000 airframe reservation deposit here.

Pricing: The anticipated base price is $279,000. View the current Equipment List here.


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