With one more milestone in the books, flying car builder Terrafugia is another step closer to launching its Transition model, as shown at April's New York Auto Show
. The Terrafugia Transition has just completed the first of six flight test trials, required before the Federal Aviation Administration will certify the craft and allow customer deliveries.
As The Wall Street Journal
reports, the initial flight test rated the craft’s handling (both with and without engine power), its flight stability, engine cooling functionality and optimum propeller settings for various conditions.
Simultaneously, the Transition is also undergoing road testing, which will identify any potential flaws in the vehicle’s on-road behavior before it heads to market in a year or two.
Calling the Transition
a “flying car” is a bit of a misnomer, since even the manufacturer describes it as a “roadable aircraft.” In other words, the Transition is designed to be flown from point to point
, with the ancillary capability of then driving a short distance from airport to destination.
The base price for a Terrafugia Transition is expected to be $279,000, and a $10,000 deposit is required to place an order and get your name in the delivery queue. You’ll also need to have a Sport Pilot license by the time your Transition is delivered, which itself requires at least 20 hours of flight time.
We’re not pilots, nor do we play them on TV, but we’re glad to see the Transition progressing through the steps necessary to bring it to market. Sure, its appeal will be limited and it’s not exactly what we imagined flying cars of the future would look (or function) like, but you’ve got to start somewhere.