Terrafugia unveils next-gen flying car design
Terrafugia has released specifications and computer graphics of its next generation flying-car design. The company made use of the world's biggest aviation industry platform – AirVenture 2010 – to detail the future shape of its Transition Roadable Aircraft which sports automotive-style crash safety features, a touch-screen interface, improved wing design and a folding mechanism that can be activated from inside the vehicle... plus sleeker lines than the proof of concept vehicle we've seen previously.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of news last month that the proof-of-concept Transition has been cleared by the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority.
The Transition promises safety on the road and in the air via an energy absorbing crush structure in the nose along with a rigid safety cage, airbags and a ballistic parachute system. The improved wing design includes an optimized airfoil and there's also a pusher propeller with an open empennage that makes efficient use of the 100 hp Rotax 912S mid-mounted engine in flight and is locked in place when driving.
To get around on the ground, the Transition uses rear-wheel drive with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and tuned independent suspension.
Deliveries of the Transition are slated to begin late next year and 80 have already been reserved by way of a $10,000 deposit. A final price has not yet been set, but a tag somewhere in the range of US$190,000 is anticipated.
Visit Terrafugia (which incidentally, means "escape from land" in Latin) for more details.
Terrafugia Transition in brief:
- Max, Vh: 100 kts (115 mph, 185 km/h)
- Cruise, Vc: 93 kts (105 mph, 172 km/h)
- Stall, Vs: 45 kts (51 mph, 83 km/h)
- Range: 425 nmi (490 m, 787 km)
- Takeoff: 1700’ (518 m), over 50’ obstacle
- Gross takeoff weight: 1430 lbs (650 kg)
- Empty Weight: 970 lbs (440 kg)
- Useful Load: 460 lbs (210 kg)
- Fuel Burn: 5 gph (at cruise)
- On Road: 35 mpg
- Useable Fuel: 23 gal (87L)
- Engine: 100 hp Rotax 912S
- Dimensions: On road - 80” (2 m) tall x 90” (2.3 m) wide x 19’ 6” (6 m) long, Flying - 78” (2 m) tall x 26’ 6” (8 m) wingspan x 19’ 9” (6 m) long