By Chris Stonor
Terrafugia announced this week that its Transition Roadable Aircraft has been cleared for take-off after obtaining an FAA Special Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) airworthiness certificate. This is “a significant milestone” for the company, reports a press release.
The “unique integration” of a two-seat aircraft and an automobile, often referred to as “a flying car”, is designed to meet safety standards from both the FAA and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The vehicle is now legal for flying and represents the initial version of the Transition.Terrafugia aims to produce and sell, initially, flight-only versions, but will evolve the driving portion of the design with the goal of being legal both in the sky and on local roads next year.
Kevin Colburn, Vice President and General Manager of Terrafugia, comments, “During an extremely challenging pandemic year, our team remained focused, improved our quality system, completed the critical aspects of the design, built the vehicle, completed 80 days of flight testing, delivered 150 technical documents, and successfully passed the FAA audit.”
He adds, “This is a major accomplishment that builds momentum in executing our mission to deliver the world’s first practical flying car.”
The release explains, “This initial version of the Transition provides pilots and flight schools with an aircraft featuring enhanced safety capabilities and the latest avionics. Powered by a 100-hp Rotax 912iS Sport fuel-injected engine with a 2,000 hr TBO, the vehicle has a flight speed of 100 mph and runs on either premium gasoline or 100LL airplane fuel.”
And goes on to say, “Standard features include a Dynon Skyview avionics package, an airframe parachute, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, a rigid carbon fibre safety cage, and folding wings to allow storage in a single-car garage.”
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