Terrafugia's Transition: the flying car zooms forward

Posted on by + 36

Okay, so this isn’t exactly the DeLorean from Back to the Future nor is it the cute little bubble car George Jetson flew around, but sometimes television can thwart reality to a point that when the real thing comes out; we are a tad bit perplexed. Sort of how we felt when we saw the Transition from Terrafugia, Inc. Is this thing a plane or a car? Well, apparently it’s both and it is due for production in 2011.

Terrafugia, Inc. was started by five pilots whose mission was clear; innovative expansion of personal mobility. Work started back in 2006 and, since then, there have been many accomplishments with their version of the "flying car". About a year and a half ago, the Transition made its first flight. Before that Terrafugia released a computer-generated video that showed how the roadable aircraft could fold up its wings to be road-ready. Is it attractive? Heck no, but everyone remembers how the first cell phone looked (remember Zach Morris’ blocky contraption) and, given time, the aesthetic appeal could definitely turn this thing into a mass appealing transportation device. All we have to do is be patient and we - or our grandkids - can be riding around in a flying Porsche 911 (or a Volkswagen Minivan for those of us toting young ones).

Hit the jump to see the newly released specs for the Transition Roadable Aircraft.

Some features in the next generation design include:

- Automotive-style crash safety features including an energy absorbing crush structure in the nose of the vehicle and a rigid safety cage to protect the occupants.

- A customized, intuitive touch-screen interface in the cockpit.

- An improved wing with an optimized airfoil and a folding mechanism that operates smoothly and safely from inside the cockpit.

- 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.

- Rear-wheel drive with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and tuned independent suspension for responsive road handling.

Performance

- 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 mi, 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 at cruise: 5 gph (18.9 L/h)

- Usable fuel: 23 gal (87L)

- Mileage on road: 35 mpg (14.9 km/L)

Convenience

- Rear wheel drive on the ground

- Automotive-style entry and exit

- Two place, side by side

- Automated electromechanical folding wing

- No trailer or hangar needed

- Cargo area holds golf clubs

Safety

- Drive in case of inclement weather

- Proven 100 hp Rotax 912S engine

- Full vehicle parachute available

- Modern glass avionics

- Automotive crash safety features

Dimensions

Driving:

- 80" (2m) tall

- 90" (2.3m) wide

- 18’ 9" (6m) long

Flying:

- 78" (2m) tall

- 26’ 6" (8m) wingspan

- 19’ 9" (6m) long

Cockpit:

- 48" at the shoulder

Carry-on luggage

- Golf clubs

- Two place, side-by-side


36 comments:

Why not? This is exciting. I would love to see its developments in the near future. However, let us check on the possibilities of this will become one of the greatest invention to date.

If you’re going to ask me, am not going to ride with this one. Is this safe? Or properly checked according to the plane standards? Let’s find out to some aircraft experts and discover if this project will materialize.

One of these days, we’ll be seeing more flying cars because of the traffic situation. Just like we saw in some futuristic movies. I can’t wait for it.

I think a golf car looks better than this. However, I need to admit that when talking about fuel economy this car is definitely very fuel efficient! Still, I hope that they could make it look better!

Today, we have what we call a compact cars, I think its the future version of bubble cars! However, though this car doesn’t have a good design and styling, I would say that this car would deliver a better fuel economy.

A roadable aircraft! This is such an amazing invention so far I’ve ever seen on this website. So, what’s the latest development? It was mentioned that the production will start on 2011. I hope they won’t back out.

If I happen to pass by on this car, I would definitely follow a glimpse on it until I cant see its taillights, i mean its a combination of funny, unique and weird. I’m really laughing out loud. I cant imagine what will happen if this baby is stuck on traffic, would this fly?

A combination of a normal car and a plane?Nice concept. And look at some other pictures it’s really flying, amazing!

Way to go with flying cars..

Imagine the blind spots when the wings are folded up...

I just looked up the address and found that I’ve driven right past this place 1000 times.

Better to develop a new design. I guess it was inspired from Jetsons.

Haha, it still needs some upgrade. The wings and tail is quite annoying.

his is will be a hit if...they enhance the design.

What a plane! Oh I mean, what a car! This Porsche 911 will surely be a hit for the next generation.

That’s good news,then this will be a good starting point to develop a flying car.I guess authority should preparing now the traffic lights in the sky.(just kidding)

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