Terrafugia has unveiled new features in the Transition production vehicle, a two-seat auto and aircraft, including updates to the interior, safety systems, motor, and flight instrumentation.
The latest features and systems will be incorporated and verified in the next test vehicles. The first production vehicles will come to market in 2019, according to company officials.
“Developing this new technology has allowed us to test several different mechanisms and generate process improvements along the way,” said Terrafugia CEO Chris Jaran. “We are at the critical point where we can implement the best design features based on years of flight and drive testing. This will improve function, safety and aesthetics for the optimal flying and driving experience.”
Each individual component is engineered with safety and quality as the objectives behind each design decision, he added.
- Hybrid-Electric Motor: The Transition will now drive in hybrid mode, using a combination of an internal combustion engine and a LiFePO4 (Lithium iron phosphate chemistry) battery, proven to be much safer than other lithium battery chemistries.
- Boost: The throttle incorporates a boost feature for a brief burst of extra power while flying.
- Interior: The interior is remodeled with upgraded seats, an intuitive user interface experience, and increased luggage capacity.
- Safety: Updated safety systems include improved seat belts, airbags, and increased visibility with three rearview cameras in drive mode.
- Partners: Terrafugia is partnering with state-of-the-art suppliers for avionics and parachutes. Dynon is providing the EFIS (Electrical Flight Information Systems) and BRS is providing a full frame parachute system.
As an automotive vehicle and a light-sport aircraft, the Transition is built for both aviation and automotive safety to comply with FAA and National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards, company officials explain. The new features will enable the Transition to meet all the necessary requirements while optimizing the flight experience for both pilot and passenger, company officials add.