From fiction to reality, the Terrafugia Inc. has successfully completed the first flight test of the prototype flying car, the Transition. On Monday, Terrafugia Inc. reported successfully completing the first flight of the prototype flying car, making it possible for the car going into production. Dubbed, the Transition, is a regular two-seater car that runs on four wheels. In addition, it has two wings that fold up while driving or expand when taking to the sky.
Last July, the prototype was given green signal into production by the US National Highway Safety Administration, and it took its first test flight on March 23 at Plattsburgh International Airport in New York. The Transition completed its first eight minute of test flight at 1,400 feet above the ground, Terrafugia reported. In comparison, a commercial jet flies at 35,000 feet above the ground. It is claimed to attain ground speeds of up to 112 kmph and 185 kmph while in the sky. While running on unleaded gasoline, the car gives 15 kmpl fuel-economy on the ground.
“It’s a remarkable vehicle both on the road and, now, in the air,” Terrafugia chief test pilot Phil Meteer, who piloted the vehicle during the test, said in a statement.
Coming at a price tag of $279,000, the production version of Transition has already received 100 interested customers, who have put down a lump of $10,000 to be the first owners. Going for sale next year, the prototype car will be put on display at the New York Auto Show starting this week.
Airline industry analyst, Robert Mann commented that with the Terrafugia Transition, man has come closer than ever to his dream of building a flying car.
CEO and co-founder, Carl Dietrich, commented on this saying, “With this flight, the team demonstrated an ability to accomplish what had been called an impossible dream. We look forward to continuing to show that the challenges of bringing a practical street legal airplane to market can be overcome.”
The government has approved the company’s appeal to employ special tyres and glass for the Transition, in order to make it easier to fly. It also receives exemption on equipping the car with electronic stability program, which adds six pounds to the vehicle.
To make it to production, the company is required to pass a test and complete 20 hours of flying time. However, R.W. Mann is no certain about the flying car market and said that though it is a unique project, making it a large-scale market product will not be profitable.