The Transition by Terrafugia is a roadable aircraft, an airplane that can take off and land from any airport, and with the push of a button fold up its wings and drive down the road. Terrafugia also announced that the car is a “step closer to being a commercial reality.” The prototype Transition completed its first successful first flight in Plattsburgh, New York. It also completed the initial drive and conversion testing.
The Transition® is the world’s first practical flying car. A folding-wing, two-seat, roadable aircraft, the Transition® is designed to fly like a typical Light Sport Aircraft in the air and drive like a typical car on the ground. It will run on premium unleaded automotive gasoline, fit in a standard construction single-car garage, and convert between flight and drive modes in under a minute.
The barriers to accomplishing this vision are substantial. Aircraft are much more expensive than cars. They are made in low volumes with a lot of manual labor and expensive materials. In addition, pilots today require extensive training which is expensive and time consuming to obtain.
Vehicles which can be flown with significantly less training, while theoretically possible, have never been demonstrated at a size that could safely carry a person while meeting or exceeding the minimum acceptable level of safety of general aviation (GA), and they certainly have never been certified by the FAA.
Some of the standards to which these vehicles will have to be certified haven’t even been written yet.
Terrafugia Transition properties
|Cruise Speed: 100 mph|
|Useful Load: 500 pounds|
|Range: 400 miles|
|Maximum Altitude: 10,000 feet|
|Engine: Rotax 912iS|
|Fuel Burn (at cruise): 5 gph|
|Dimensions (Drive Mode): 6.5’ x 7.5’ x 19.5’|
|Dimensions (Flight Mode): 6.5’ x 26.5’ x 19.5’|
Terrafugia is excited to premier the new Outer Mold Line for the TF-X™, the four-seat, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) hybrid electric aircraft that will make flying easier and safer than ever before.