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Directory:Terrafugia Transition -- Flying Automobile
Page first featured January 15, 2009
'Roadable Aircraft' - don't call it a flying car
The Terrafugia Transition® is a two-seater car that can convert to and from plane configuration in less than a minute, without leaving the craft.
The wings fold when in car mode, for which it has been tested to travel at up to 90 mph. The wings then unfold for flight mode in which it can cruise at a speed of 115 mph for up to 500 miles on a tank of unleaded gasoline, powered by the same 100-bhp engenine.
Certified as a Light Sport Aircraft, the Transition® will require a Sport Pilot license or higher to fly. It can take off or land at any public use general aviation airport with at least 2,500 feet of runway.
Before flying, the pilot extends the wings and performs a standard preflight. The engine power is directed to the propeller for flight through a carbon fiber drive shaft. Upon landing, the pilot activates the electro-mechanical wing folding mechanism from inside the cockpit, and is then able to drive away.
Think of all the fun things they could do with this in action movies.
The vehicle was developed by former NASA engineers and built by a small American company from Massachusetts, Terrafugia, Inc.
As of Jan. 13, 2008, Carl Dietrich, the company's CEO, said he had already received about 40 orders for the vehicle. It is expected to sell for about $195,000. 
How it Works
The vehicle can fly up to 500 miles on a single tank of unleaded gasoline at a cruising speed of 115 miles per hour. In its car mode, the Terrafugia Transition® can go up to 90 mph, it has been tested. The same 100-bhp four-stroke Rotax 912S engine powers the car in the air and on the ground.
- 4 cylinder, 4 stroke liquid/air cooled engine with opposed cylinders, dry sump forced lubrication with seperate 3l (.8 gal US) oil tank, automatic adjustment by hydraulic valve tappet, 2 CD carburetors, mechanical fuel pump, electronic dual ignition, electric starter, integrated reduction gear i= 2.43.
- Maximum consumption is 9 gallons per hour.
- Certified according to FAR-33. (Rotax 912 Operation and Maintenance Video)
First Test Flight, March 5, 2009
- First Flight of the Terrafugia Transition - Camera A - A video of the first flight of the Terrafugia Transition. First flight occurred on March 5th, 2009 at Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, NY. (YouTube; March 16, 2009)
- Terrafugia Flying Car Update, AirVenture Oskhosh 2008 Terrafugia answers realistic questions about their roadable aircraft concept vehicle. (YouTube; July 31, 2008)
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- Terrafugia Flying CarConcept video. (YouTube; November 26, 2006)
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Expected to sell for about $195,000. First customer delivery is anticipated to be in 2010. Refundable airframe reservations are currently being accepted to hold a place in production.
- "Roadable Aircraft", not a "Flying Car".
- "The Transition® has the advantage of modern engines, composite materials, and computer-based avionics. Even more important is the approach being taken by Terrafugia to design a vehicle for pilots that brings additional ground capability to an airplane instead of attempting to make a car fly."
- "A rigorous high speed taxi testing deployment was completed in Plattsburgh, NY in December 2008. The Proof of Concept Transition® is performing reliably as it progresses through its testing program. The program is designed to maximize safety and generate a solid, data-driven base for on-going and future development work on what is a new type of aircraft.
- In July of 2008 Terrafugia returned to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI with a completed Proof of Concept Transition® vehicle. Powered testing of the Proof of Concept has been ongoing during the second half of 2008.
- Construction, testing and certification of the Production Prototype will follow completion of the Proof of Concept’s testing program. First customer delivery of a Transition® Roadable Aircraft is expected to occur in 2010."
- Terrafugia's Transition Files Folding Wing Patent Application Filed - Anna Mracek Dietrich, COO of roadable vehicle developer Terrafugia, has exciting news for this show. Just before the start of the 2008 EAA AirVenture she finished filing the paperwork for two patents on the electronic folding wing technology that is key to the usefulness and marketability of the company's Transition roadable aircraft (just don't call it a flying car!). (Kitplanea; July 28, 2008)
Company: Terrafugia, Inc.
- "Terrafugia was founded in 2006 by award-winning MIT-trained aeronautical engineers and MBA's – who also happen to be passionate private pilots. The company’s mission is to provide innovative solutions to the challenges facing personal aviation. The result: the Transition® Roadable Aircraft."
Carl Dietrich, CEO
To date, Terrafugia remains privately funded by a sophisticated group of accredited individual investors. The company is based just outside of Boston in Woburn, Massachusetts, USA.
Inventors: MIT Team
- "Carl Dietrich, Anna Mracek Dietrich and Samuel Schweighart, three of Terrafugia’s founders, have brought together a world-class team to bring the Transition® to fruition and build Terrafugia. Along with Alex Min and Arun Prakash, they began developing Terrafugia and the Transition® in 2005, while at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."
In the News
- Flight > Flying Cars > Terrafugia >
DOT Exempts Maker of 'Flying Car' From Road Vehicle Safety Rules - The U.S. DOT granted a three-year 'hardship' exemption because it bought the argument from Terrafugia, makers of a 'roadable aircraft,' that its attempt to comply with DOT regulations at the same time as Federal Aviation Administration rules would be prohibitively expensive, allowing it more time to research more appropriate solutions to the requirements. (Slashdot; July 6, 2011)
- Flight > Flying Cars > Terrafugia Transition >
Terrafugia Transition 'flying car' gets go-ahead from US air authorities - The Terrafugia Transition, a light aircraft that can convert into a road-legal automobile, is to go into production after being given a special weight exemption by the US Federal Aviation Administration. The weight exemption was required to allow safety features for road driving. (Telegraph; UK; June 29, 2010)
- Terrafugia's Flying Car Successfully Takes Off - Terrafugia’s Transition is a small aircraft that can fold up its wings, drive on the road, fuel up at a normal gas station, and park in a single car garage. It was successfully tested March 8, at Plattsburgh International Airport in New York. The flight lasted less than a minute and was maybe 10 feet in the air. (Video) (Autoblitz; Mar. 19, 2009)
- Featured: Flight > Flying Cars >
Terrafugia Transition -- Flying Automobile - The fantasy of spy novels and science fiction films is at last becoming reality, with a vehicle that can turn from car to aircraft in 15 seconds. The Transition® is scheduled to take to the air next month. (PESWiki; Jan. 15, 2009)
- The World's First Flying Car Prepares for take-off in 2010 - (International Business Times; 13 January 2009)
- Flight > Flying Cars >
World's first Flying Car prepares for take-off in 2010 - The fantasy of spy novels and science fiction films is at last becoming reality with a vehicle that can turn from car to aircraft in 15 seconds. Prototype is scheduled to take to the air next month. (Times Online; Jan. 11, 2009)
- Future, Here We Come: The World’s First Flying Car - The Terrafugia Transition is a light sport airplane with four wheels and foldable wings. It can soar up through the skies just like a regular aircraft then land on the ground, fold up its two wings and drive down the road at highway speeds. (Chattahbox; Dec. 19, 2008)
- Flying Cars > It's Not a Flying Car - It's a Drivable Airplane - A team of MIT aero/astro grads are building what could be the first practical airplane that's also certified for highway driving. Terrafugia hopes to have its first full-scale proof-of-concept vehicle ready to show off at July's AirVenture aviation festival in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. (XConomy; May 8, 2008)
- Flying Car About to Take Off? - Terrafugia is developing the Transition, a roadable light sport aircraft that will be able to land at the airport, fold up its wings, and drive on the road. Company looks to complete a prototype of its roadworthy aircraft within a year. (MIT Technology Review; Oct. 10, 2007) (CNetNews; Sep. 6, 2006) (Slashdot; Nov. 10, 2007)
- "The Transition® Proof of Concept was exhibit in the Museum of Science, Boston from December 18th, 2008 through January 4th, 2009. Nearly 80,000 people saw the plane during the exhibit."
See Discussion page
- Terrafugia, Inc.
5 Cranes Court
Woburn, MA, USA 01801