Aircraft

Terrafugia Transition production prototype takes off

The production prototype of Terrafugia's Transition Street-Legal Airplane has successfully completed its first flight
The production prototype of Terrafugia's Transition Street-Legal Airplane has successfully completed its first flight
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The Terrafugia Transition production prototype, entering the airfield at Plattsburgh International Airport
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The Terrafugia Transition production prototype, entering the airfield at Plattsburgh International Airport
On its maiden flight, the Terrafugia Transition production prototype's controllability and safe operational characteristics were demonstrated
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On its maiden flight, the Terrafugia Transition production prototype's controllability and safe operational characteristics were demonstrated
The Terrafugia Transition production prototype on the runway
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The Terrafugia Transition production prototype on the runway
The production prototype of Terrafugia's Transition Street-Legal Airplane has successfully completed its first flight
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The production prototype of Terrafugia's Transition Street-Legal Airplane has successfully completed its first flight
The Terrafugia Transition production prototype's maiden flight lasted approximately eight minutes
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The Terrafugia Transition production prototype's maiden flight lasted approximately eight minutes
The Terrafugia Transition at the 2012 New York International Auto Show
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The Terrafugia Transition at the 2012 New York International Auto Show
The Terrafugia Transition at the 2012 New York International Auto Show
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The Terrafugia Transition at the 2012 New York International Auto Show
The Terrafugia Transition at the 2012 New York International Auto Show
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The Terrafugia Transition at the 2012 New York International Auto Show
The Terrafugia Transition on the road
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The Terrafugia Transition on the road

Of all the “flying car”-type vehicles currently in development, Terrafugia’s Transition Street-Legal Airplane is quite likely the one that’s closest to actual commercial availability. Yesterday, the New York-based company announced that on March 23rd, one of two production prototypes of the vehicle successfully completed its maiden flight.

For those readers who remember already having seen shots of a flying Transition, you’re not mistaken. A proof-of-concept vehicle was completed in 2009, and has indeed already taken to the air. The model that flew for the first time last month, however, is closer to what customers may be able to buy.

The flight took place at Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, New York, and lasted about eight minutes. The aircraft stayed in the vicinity of the airport, reaching an altitude of 1,400 feet (427 meters) while its controllability and safe operational characteristics were demonstrated. This is reportedly just the beginning of six phases of planned flight tests.

The Terrafugia Transition production prototype's maiden flight lasted approximately eight minutes
The Terrafugia Transition production prototype's maiden flight lasted approximately eight minutes

Terrafugia is expecting first deliveries of the Transition to take place within the next year. If you’re interested in getting on the list, however, you’d better start saving now ... the anticipated base price of the vehicle is US$279,000 – a fair hike up from the 2010 estimate of $190,000.

The production prototype can be seen in action – on the ground and in the air – in the video below.

Source: Terrafugia

The Transition®: Driven to Fly

15 comments
Alex Lekander
"Terrafugia’s Transition Street-Legal Airplane is quite likely the one that’s closest to actual commercial availability." I disagree. The PAL-V is more compact, takes off over a shorter distance and has superior road performance.
Slowburn
re; Alex Lekander The PAL-V course of development is now where the Terrafugia’s Transition Street-Legal Airplane was at in 2009.
robinyatesuk2003
I agree with Alex. The little heli seemed more usable but each to their own.
donwine
Should I drive or fly? This should confuse the challenged impaired!
Jim Parker
If 3-D printing can manufacture the structural elements of the Terrafugia, then it will be lighter and cheaper. Otherwise, it's a quarter million dollars for a semi-useful airplane.
MAQ
So, for $280,000 usd, you get a marginal 2-seat sports plane that can't be flown on instruments and can barely exceed 100 mph? Also included is a less than marginal 2-seat automobile that is neither a joy to drive or to park. For that money, you could buy a new Porsche, a very nice 4-seat a/c with real speed and have $80,000 left over. Just because it can be built doesn't mean it should be built.
PeetEngineer
The Pal-V test aircraft appeared to be a one seater, with the possibility of a second tandem seat, this at least has two side-by-side, makes it a more social vehicle? I'll have one of each thanks.
Brian Brehart
I completely agree with MAQ. I would add that until we figure out Gravity and Anti-Gravity, the flying car will never exist. The PAL-V and this Terrafugia are nothing more than drivable airplanes.
Little Astronaut
This generation of flying cars seems to be the first one approaching the reality of flying as a commuting vihacle and I agree with previous comment. There were previous versions of flying cars and as I remember recently one man made a private one which hit in the news. Also vaguely do I remember in 1995 (I was 7 then!) that there was this news on having commercial manufacturing of the represented prototype by 2000 back then. It did not happen but rather now we see it's turning to reality. Once again human being is one step forward in actulizing the dream, and this time it is about flying cars. I suppose sooner or later we will see flying taxies over our living places. Hope trafic rules for such transportaion system will be made before this genious production starts to take off. "Well-done"
Slowburn
re; Hassan Jahangiri There are enough traffic rules in place for the type of aircraft these "flying cars" represent.
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