It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a flying car. Terrafugia has been working on its Transition flying car for a few years and now it’s ready for takeoff.
In development since 2006, the flying car is the finished product of a team of MIT engineers who have labored for years to gain the necessary clearance to operate the Transition on asphalt and in the air. Now, after receiving Federal Aviation Administration approval, the Transition has been cleared to fly our skies.
Classified as a Light Sport Aircraft, Terrafugia needed special FAA accommodation due to the Transition’s curb weight. Tipping the scales at 1430 pounds, the Transition is actually 110 pounds over the legal limit for an LSA, but was deemed flight-worthy due to the extra pounds allotted for on-road safety equipment, including airbags and crumple zones. Terrafugia wanted to maintain the Transition’s LSA classification so potential pilots would only need 20 hours of flight practice before being granted an air license.
Powering the Transition is a 100-horsepower Rotax 912S engine, which helps propel the aircraft to a cruising speed of 115 mph. A 20-gallon fuel tank requires only regular-octane gasoline, not leaded fuel, and Terrafugia says the Transition can achieve 30 mpg out on the open road. Full avionics instrumentation is included along with a parachute.
If you have the hankering for a Transition, the anticipated purchase price is currently $194,000, the same amount reported back in 2008. Interested customers may place a $10,000 deposit with Terrafugia at its Web site.
Wings folded : 6 feet 9 inches tall 6 feet 8 inches wide 18 feet 9 inches long
Flight mode : 6 feet 3 inches tall 27 feet 6 inches wide 19 feet 2 inches long
Cockpit : 51 inches at the shoulder