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Maybe you remember Terrafugia, the company that brought a flying car to the 2012 New York Auto Show’s hallway.
The Terrafugia Transition has been a work in progress since 2006, but will finally show off its unique design at the 2012 New York Auto Show.
The Transition is being called the first practical street-legal airplane by the company, and will no doubt garner some attention when it hits the show floor. The car has folding wings and a full propeller drive system that allows it to take flight as well as drive on the street.
Terrafugia will need to impress the right people, as the Transition is estimated to cost $279,000.
For that price, the eccentric consumer gets a small airplane that fits in a single-car garage. The Transition also runs off super unleaded gas instead of airplane fuel and is able to drive safely on the road, according to the company.
The same 100-hp engine capable of spinning the rear-mounted propeller or powering the wheels on the ground, both via a continuously variable transmission.
Terrafugia’s video explains most aspects of the car in detail. You can watch it below.
Go from the roads to the friendly skies in one fell swoop in the Terrafugia Transition roadable aircraft. The first of its kind, the Transition can make the transition from the road to the sky, offering its owners the ultimate in convenience.
And now, with a recent weight exemption approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transition is one step closer to your driveway. Allowed an extra 110 pounds of weight, it has a maximum takeoff weight of 1,430 pounds. This is the same weight allowance made for aircraft designed to operate on water. It falls into the Light Sport Aircraft category, and other planes in the class are limited to a maximum takeoff weight of 1,320 pounds.
The reason for the extra weight, according to Anna Dietrich, Terrafugia’s chief operating officer, is due to its safety features. Since it’s designed to be on the road, it’s going to need equipment not found in other light aircraft. These features include a protective safety cage, airbags and an energy absorbing crumple zone.
Planes that hold the light sport aircraft designation can carry two people, and the pilot has to have a Sport Pilot certificate, which requires 20 hours of flight training. “There are actually programs that you can do in about two weeks,” said Dietrich. “You can take a couple weeks off of work and come home a pilot, so it’s a very accessible, very exciting way of getting into aviation and giving yourself that additional freedom and flexibility.”
Taking about the same amount of time as putting down a convertible top, the Transition goes from car to plane in mere moments, and all the magic takes place from within the cockpit. When it’s time to land and head home, the wings fold up and you drive off.
You can own the Transition for $194,000 in about 18 months, and you can bet that the commute to work will be a lot quicker.