MANILA – While aloft, its wings spread out as the vehicle brushes against the winds. While on land, its wings fold up as it goes side by side other regular automobiles. This is a real flying car – the Terrafugia Transition ® – which will soon be seen soaring across the United States.
Having already earned an exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a “light sport aircraft,” the Transition ® is on its way to becoming the first-ever legalized flying automobile. All that’s needed is a few more audits, paperwork and regulatory tests for this two-seater flying car to be made available commercially.
“We’ve worked with the FAA, and you’re going to have your bureaucrats and people who don’t want anything to change, but other people can see the future,” Moller International President and CEO Paul Moller said in a report by the National Post.
The Transition ®’s waiver allows it to exceed the maximum weight requirement and the stall speed limits earlier imposed by the FAA. Being a heavier flying machine, it needs to run faster in order for it to fly faster. Its added weight also allows the vehicle to accommodate road safety features and cabin features.
“The willingness of the FAA to consider safety-driven innovation in novel ways, as evidenced by both this Grant of Exemption… is critical to the advancement of the aviation industry. We look forward to continuing to work with the FAA to develop products that increase both the safety and utility of personal aviation,” Terrafugia CEO/CTO Carl Dietrich said in a statement published on the company’s website.
Now, who can drive and fly the Transition ®? Almost anyone, as long as they secure a “sport” license, which simply requires 20 hours of lessons on operating a small airplane.
Excited for this innovation? See the specifications and promotional video below:
Crew: 1 pilot
Capacity: 1 passenger
Payload: 460 pounds
Length: 6.02 meters (Length on road: 5.72 meters)
Wingspan: 8.08 meters (Width on road: 2.29 meters)
Height: 1.98 meters (Height on road: 2.03 meters)
Fuel capacity: 23 gallons
Maximum speed: 115 mph