While only the passing of time will tell if today's first registered flight of the Terrafugia Transition measures up to such important milestones of aviation as the Wright brothers' maiden voyage at Kitty Hawk in 1903, it was most definitely a significant marker in the development of the flying car. While there have been many attempts to develop a flying car in the past, the Terrafugia Transition might be the most promising in the modern era. Autoblog first reported on it back in early 2006 when the prototype debuted, and the project spearheaded by five pilots, all of whom graduated from MIT, has come a long way since.
The Transition transforms between road use and flight by folding down its wings, which takes just 30 seconds. With its wings retracted, the Transition is compact enough to fit in a normal-sized garage, which means owners won't have to rent hangar space at their local airport. Indeed, they can just drive the Transition home, as it uses the same gas engine (of unknown displacement) to power its front wheels on the road as it does its propellor when in flight.
Today's test flight at the Plattsburgh International Airport in New York went well with Phil Meteer, Colonel, USAFR, at the controls. Terrafugia claims the Transition can fly up to 450 miles at over 115 mph, and since it is categorized as a Light Sport Aircraft by the FAA, a Sport Pilot license will be required to fly one. Check out the gallery below for images from today's flight, as well as videos of Terrafugia's own maiden voyage after the jump.