Since the 1960’s TV cartoon show The Jetsons first aired Americans have been dreaming about the possibility of cruising around in ground to sky vehicles. The future is upon us and that dream has become closer to reality. Behold the “Transition Flying Car” from Terrafugia whose parent company is no stranger; Geely Holdings who owns Volvo Cars, Lotus Cars and China Euro Vehicle Technology. Terrafugia started in 2006 by six MIT graduates is headquartered in Massachusetts but the company’s research and technology division happens to be here where no one does cutting edge better.
The two seater convertible flying machine is powered by a single 100hp 4 cylinder fuel injected internal combustion engine for flight made by Rotax, an Austrian company owned by Bombardier. The drive mode utilizes hybrid electric motors probably similar in design to the Toyota Prius but Terrafugia has not revealed the maker yet. It is relatively small sized with a length of 19.5 ft and a height of 7.5 ft, the foldable wing span has a varying width 27.2 ft in flight mode and 6.9 ft in drive mode. Other specs include a 20 gallon fuel tank, a 5 gal per hour fuel burn rate, a flying speed of 100 mph and a maximum driving range of 400 miles. The Transition comes standard with Dynon’s Skyview Avionics controls and pilot interface that is designed for future upgradability. Safety features abound; along with seat belts and airbags there is an airframe parachute. Driver requirements are a current driver’s license and a sport‘s pilot certificate. If you’re interested you’ll have to send a “letter of intent to purchase” to the company. Delivery date unknown as is the price but rumored to be in excess of $275,000. Remember exclusivity is never affordable.
Photo from the Terrafugia website