They’re about a year behind schedule, but the Terrafugia Transition Flying Car finally took its first flight earlier this month. In case you forgot (I did) The Transition Flying Car is front wheel drive vehicle that can transform from car to plane in just 30 seconds. It achieves 30MPG and boasts a range of over 400 miles, although it’s not clear if that applies to both land and flight. The vehicle is fast enough to for US highway speeds and in case you can’t hit the brakes quick enough, or the vehicle falls from the sky it can be outfitted with one of those giant parachutes. Terrafugia expects to start delivering the Transition in 2011 and it will cost $194,000 when it finally goes on sale. They’re currently accepting vehicle deposits of $10,000, which are apparently completely refundable. Seems like a hairy time to launch a completely impractical vehicle.
Full release and another few videos after the ‘leap’
HISTORIC TAKEOFF MAKES “FLYING CAR” A REALITY
The Transition® Roadable Aircraft Completes Successful First Flight
Boston, MA – March 18, 2009: Terrafugia, Inc., a game-changing aircraft company, announced today the first flight of its Transition® Roadable Aircraft Proof of Concept. Often referred to as a “flying car”, the Transition® is a two-seat aircraft designed to take off and land at local airports and drive on any road. Transforming from plane to car takes the pilot less than 30 seconds.
An historic milestone for aviation, the flight comes after six months of static, road and taxi testing. The Transition® cruises up to 450 mi at over 115 mph, can drive at highway speeds on the road, and fits in a standard household garage. The vehicle has front wheel drive on the road and a propeller for flight. Both modes are powered by unleaded gasoline from a regular gas station.
“This breakthrough changes the world of personal mobility. Travel now becomes a hassle-free integrated land-air experience. It’s what aviation enthusiasts have been striving for since 1918,” says Carl Dietrich, CEO of Terrafugia.
By giving pilots a convenient ground transportation option, the Transition® reduces the cost, hassle, and weather sensitivity of personal aviation. It also increases safety by incorporating automotive crash structures and allowing pilots to drive under bad weather.
For its first flight, the Transition® was flown by Phil Meteer, Colonel, USAFR (Retired) at Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, NY. The chase aircraft was piloted by Giora Guth.
Categorized as a Light Sport Aircraft, the Transition® requires a Sport Pilot license to fly. The Proof of Concept will undergo additional advanced flight and drive testing and a pre-production prototype will be built and certified before first delivery. Refundable airframe reservations are being accepted.
Terrafugia (terra-FOO-gee-ah), based in Woburn, MA, is comprised of a team of award-winning engineers who have been advancing the state of personal aircraft since 2006. Founded by five pilots who are graduates of MIT and supported by a world-class network of advisors and private investors, Terrafugia’s mission is the innovative expansion of personal mobility. “Terrafugia” is Latin for “escape from land.”
The Transition® will temporarily be on exhibit at the Museum of Science, Boston on March 18, 2009.
Terrafugia would like to acknowledge and thank its corporate sponsors: Solid Works Corporation and CableOrganizer.com. Additionally, the following business partners have contributed to a successful first flight by furnishing equipment and services: Garmin International, Dynon Avionics, CO Guardian, David Clark Company, Bose Corporation, Icom Inc. and Air Graphics LLC.