Terrafugia “Flying Car” Makes First Flight
The Terrafugia Transition, the first plausible “flying car” (or more precisely, a “roadable aircraft”), took its first official flight earlier this month.
The Terrafugia Transition, the first plausible flying car (or more precisely, a “roadable aircraft”), took its first official flight earlier this month.
The two-seat aircraft is able to fly 450 miles at over 115 miles per hour and is designed to transform from plane to car in less than 30 seconds.
The maiden voyage took place at the Plattsburgh International Airport in New York, with a retired U.S. Air Force Reserve colonel in the pilot’s seat. The flight followed six months of static, road, and taxi testing.
As a car, the two-seat Transition is designed to be easy on garages and oncoming traffic–its wings fold up quite snugly.
In folded mode, the approximately 19-foot-long vehicle is 80 inches wide, and 6 feet, 9 inches high. As an airplane, it stands a few inches shorter and has a wingspan of 27 feet, 6 inches.
The vehicle runs off unleaded fuel from your run-of-the-mill gas station for both terrestrial and aerial travel, cruising at highway speeds on land and better than 115 miles per hour in the air.
But Woburn, Mass.-based Terrafugia still has a long road ahead of it. The vehicle that flew earlier this month is still just a proof of concept, and a production prototype has yet to be built, tested, and certified.
The company says it expects to make the first customer delivery of a Transition in 2011.
It will retail at a street price of $194,000 when it eventually goes on sale. But, you can reserve one now for just $10,000 at Terrafugia’s website.