Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Terrafugia, an enterprising company made up of MIT grads, announced the successful maiden flight of the Transition® Roadable Aircraft Proof of Concept. Or, the flying car. Congrats to the company, I wish them success with the two-seater.
The big idea here of course is one that's been tried before without success: a road-worthy, street-legal vehicle that, after unfolding the wings, can be flown as a legal LSA from any local airport.
Lest I forget to mention it, no, you can't take off from the street in front of your house - unless you live in an airport community and your street is a legal runway.
The flight followed six months of static, road and taxi testing, says Terrafugia. The car/plane is designed to cruise up to 450 mi. at more than 115 mph, ride at highway speeds with wings folded (which takes, they say, 30 sec.), and fits in a household garage.
Motation is by front wheel drive on the road and a pusher prop in the air.
And how cool is this? You can drive up and fuel it at a gas station: the engine runs on unleaded.
The first hop pilotage was provided by Col. Phil Meteer, USAFR (Retired). Scene of the crime was Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, NY.
Of course, roadable or not, you can only fly this sculptured beauty legally with a Sport Pilot license.
Once this Proof of Concept vehicle completes advanced flight and drive testing, a pre-production prototype will come next, to be ASTM certified before first delivery.

all photos courtesy Terrafugia

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