Woburn, Massachusetts—June 4, 2009—Company officials call it a roadable aircraft. But to the masses of people who have been watching its evolution, it’s a flying car.
And there’s no longer any doubt of that after Terrafugia, Inc. announced Wednesday that it has successfully completed the flight-testing program designed for its Transition proof of concept (POC). The flying car completed its first flight on March 5, 2009 with 27 additional flights completed over the next several weeks.
The successful completion of flight-testing with the POC concludes the first stage of a four-stage process to bring the Transition into production. Work is underway on Stage 2, the beta prototype.
The POC is the first and only Transition to be built thus far. It has now achieved its goals by demonstrating driving, flying, and automated transformation between the two in one integrated aircraft. The flights conducted a plan set specifically for the Transition: characteristics such as handling, performance, take-off, landing, stability and stall were evaluated. The flight-testing program demonstrated the safety of the vehicle in the air while identifying modifications that will be incorporated into the next Transition model to be built, the beta prototype.
Test pilot Phil Meteer had a positive review of flying the POC: “I would like to keep flying this proof of concept vehicle, but it makes sense to move on to the beta prototype.”
Categorized as a light-sport aircraft, the Transition requires a Sport Pilot Certificate to fly. It is a two-seat aircraft designed to take off and land at local airports and drive on any road. Transforming from plane to car takes the pilot less than 30 seconds.
The Transition will cruise up to 450 miles at over 115 mph, will drive at highway speeds on the road, and fits in a standard household garage. The vehicle has front wheel drive on the road and a propeller for flight. Both modes are powered by unleaded automotive gasoline.
First delivery is expected in 2011.
The Terrafugia Transition flying with Lake Champlain in the background. Photo credit: Terrafugia
The Terrafugia Transition and chase plane flying in formation. Photo credit: Terrafugia
Carl Dietrich, CEO/CTO, with the Transition at the gas station. The roadable light-sport aircraft runs on premium unleaded auto gas.
Photo credit: Terrafugia