Flying car could be reality by next year

written by australianaviation.com.au | April 3, 2012
The flying car developed by a US company made its first flight last month and could begin deliveries within a year. (Terrafugia)

The long cherished dream of the flying car could be a commercial reality within the next year, according to a US company that last month completed the successful first flight of its “street-legal airplane.”

The Transition, developed by Massachusetts based Terrafugia, features foldable wings, can be parked in a single car garage and can reach airspeeds of up to 100kt, the company says. During its eight-minute first flight from Plattsburgh, New York on March 23, the Transition reached an altitude of 1400ft, according to Terrafugia.

Company CEO and co-founder Carl Dietrich said the first flight was a major milestone for the aircraft.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“With this flight, the team demonstrated an ability to accomplish what had been called an impossible dream,” Dietrich said. “We look forward to continuing to show that the challenges of bringing a practical street legal airplane to market can be overcome.”

Terrafugia's Transition flying car features foldable wings and can be parked in a standard single car garage. (Terrafugia)

Terrafugia said it expects to deliver its first production Transition with the next year at an estimated base price of US$279,000. The company is currently accepting refundable $10,000 deposits from interested customers.

Classified as a Light Sport Aircraft, the Transition is built around a 100hp Rotax 912ULS engine and runs off normal unleaded automotive fuel. Although it looks more than a little ungainly on the ground, it offers reasonable fuel efficiency of 15 km/l and can be driven on highways, though Terrafugia doesn’t specify its maximum ground speed. In the air, it burns 18.9 l/h, with its 87 litre fuel tank giving it a maximum range of 787km.

Other features of the two-seater include modern glass avionics and an optional full vehicle parachute.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Did you know that Australian Aviation Magazine comes digitally? Subscribe to Australian Aviation’s digital magazine for just $59.95 a year! Our app is available on mobile, tablet and PC devices! Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

5 Comments

  • Brendan

    says:

    A long time dream for many around the world could very well be realized with this car… i wonder though…..

    I wonder what it will mean to own one, then have it stolen?

    What if you were to speed down the highway above the speed limit in ground effect?… I suppose it would result in more than only one government department wanting to spoil your fun.

    Can you tow a caravan?

    Will the wings fall off if you drive on Queensland Roads?

    What Airport fees will be incurred if you land, taxi to the car park to shut down?

    How much parasitic drag will the bull bar give you?

    Oh how the mind boggles!

  • NJP

    says:

    If you can afford one of these you can probably afford a car which you’d park at the airport anyway – although given the price of SYD airport parking it does make sense to take your car/plane with you!!

  • David

    says:

    Convert to Australian dollars and add the federal Luxury Car Tax. If it has a license plate and registration, it will be subject to the LCT. So much for that idea.

  • CAP

    says:

    Australian roads and shopping centre carparks would mean the end of your aeroplane within a week. Somehow I don’t think this is very practical as anything but an aeroplane that should be entitled to discount hangarage.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year