Flying cars have been one of the primary disappointments of the 21st century's expected innovations. The fact remains that nothing approaching what so many enthusiasts had hoped - and been promised - is yet available. We do not fly to work in stylish car-jets, and we do not drive to the shops with the wings conveniently tucked away - yet. America’s Terrafugia is working to change that, with the company confirming today that its Transition has made its maiden flight.
The flight comes after six months of road and taxi testing, and took place on March 5th at Plattsburgh International Airport, New York.
Often referred to as a "flying car", the Transition is a two-seat aircraft designed to take off and land at local airports and drive on any road. Transforming from plane to car takes the pilot less than 30 seconds, and best of all it features standard car tires and runs on normal pump fuel.
With a projected range of 400 nautical miles, a gross take-off weight of 1,320lb (600kg) and a 100hp (75kW) Rotax engine, the vehicle is good for a cruising speed of 100 knots (115mph or 185km/h) in the air, and capable of highway speeds on the road. Since it’s categorized as a ‘Light Sport Aircraft’, the Transition will require a Sport Pilot license to fly.
Delivery isn't expected until the end of the year, and considering that development has been underway since 2006, that date could yet be pushed back further. The first flying prototype still has to undergo additional advanced flight and drive testing and a pre-production prototype will be built and certified before first delivery. Pricing is expected to fall around the $194,000 mark.