Flying car takes to the air for first time
Posted on April 3, 2012 – 08:41 by Emma Woollacott
Terrafugia’s ‘street legal’ airplane has successfully taken its first flight, bringing the prospect of a flying car a big step closer.
The Transition Street-Legal Airplane is a two seat personal aircraft capable of driving on roads and highways, parking in a single car garage, and flying with unleaded automotive fuel.
The company currently has two functioning vehicles and is working on the manufacturing tool-up and compliance program necessary to begin commercial deliveries – expected to start within the next year.
“With this flight, the team demonstrated an ability to accomplish what had been called an impossible dream,” says Terrafugia CEO/CTO and co-founder Carl Dietrich.
“We look forward to continuing to show that the challenges of bringing a practical street legal airplane to market can be overcome. This is a very exciting time for Terrafugia. We are on our way up – literally and figuratively!”
The first flight reached an altitude of 1,400 feet and lasted eight minutes.
“When I drove it into the shop, literally from the road through the garage door, I was amazed that I had just flown it at Plattsburgh a few days before,” says Terrafugia chief test pilot Phil Meteer.
“A long-overdue mode of transportation and fun is just around the corner. I can’t wait for the upcoming flight tests and the chance to ‘wring it out’”
The plane will be on display at the New York International Auto Show next week.