Terrafugia flies first production prototype

Plattsburgh, N.Y. – The first production prototype of Terrafugia‘s Transition flying car flew from Plattsburgh International on March 23. The aircraft has “also successfully conducted initial drive and conversion testing,” stated a company press release.

The flight reached an altitude of 1400-feet AGL and last eight minutes while remaining in the vicinity of the airport. Two vehicles are included in the production prototype program.

The Transition will be on display at the New York International Auto Show April 6-15 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Comments

  1. The Roadable Flying Car dilemma

    I find this to be an interesting project, based on the feasibility
    and practicality of the project.  I
    believe it is a novelty item that does not have much of a chance of really
    selling, and is an example of aviation with blinders on with money from
    investors that will never touch aviation again.

    Seriously, let’s look at the flying car and put the pieces
    of the puzzle together.  Ok, so we need
    stability and safety that meets the DOT regulations, and we need stability and
    structure to support flight.  Combining
    the two means a lot of compromise in both areas, whereby performance is limited
    by each individual category as in flight vs. driving.

    What we really must do, is ask the question; why the flying
    car, is this the best way to answer the question?  Here is the answer.

    Purchase a 7 series BMW Sedan with a trailer hitch, and have
    a complete fresh design of a folding wing two place airplane that with the push
    of a button, folds up and fits in the trailer in 60 seconds.  Not only will you have better performance
    with both vehicles, you will also save about $100,000 in acquisition of the
    airplane and car.  The theory behind the
    flying car, is that you have to drive to the airport to take-off, and when you
    land at your destination, you can fold the wings and drive to the business
    appointment or beach and therefore, the concept makes sense.

    Reality is that a rental car will save you huge vs. the
    flying car, think about how many rentals you can get for $100,000?  The purpose of the folding wings and trailer,
    is so that the airplane can be stored in the family garage or cement pad next to
    the garage, negating hanger rent to store the vehicle.  It is a more sensible solution. 

    The flying car does not solve a worldwide need, because there
    is a more practical approach that works much better and more economically.  As a kid, I used to dream that the flying car
    would be a reality, but that was before I understood propulsion systems,
    structures, and stability.  Once I
    figured that out, I knew the only answer was the folding airplane.

  2. Rod Beck says:

    In all do respect to these folks, I think they wandered to far from the sandbox – “No, Timmy, this is NO toy”!

  3. I feel sorry for guys building this contraption. It is awful, ugly and embarrassing.

    • wjsteele says:

      Really?  That “contraption” is actually solving a real world problem that no one has seemed to have done so far.  I think it is following the old adage of “form following function” quite nicely.  Who cares what it looks like… its a freaking flying car!  (By the way, have you ever seen a Maverick or Pacer?  Didn’t seem to hurt their sales.)

  4. Rod Beck says:

    “A chicken in every pot, a car; No, a car/plane in EVERY garage?”

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