One of the idiosyncratic stars of the 2012 New York Auto Show, just about one year ago, was the Terrafugia Transition. Proposing to bring the long-dreamed-of flying car to the masses – well, "masses" of people that can pick up a $279,000 check, at any rate – news about the Terrafugia has been pretty thin in the intervening 12 months. The good news, we hear, is that the paucity of press releases has been a result of the company working hard on bringing the Transition to market.

AOL Autos reports that the folks at Terrafugia are hard at work with the dual certification process that makes the vehicle such a complex one to bring to market. Having already cleared the hurdle of obtaining a VIN from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as well as an N-number from the Federal Aviation Administration (both achieved by way of the Transition prototype), the company must now have the vehicle completely certified by NHTSA. The FAA doesn't require certification for craft that fall into the "light sport" category, like the Transition, but the company is prepping for likely audits of its manufacturing and risk-management processes, nevertheless.

Terrafugia won't discuss exactly when its flying car might start actual production; at least not until the certification process has been completed. With that goal post still being a year or more out, don't expect to see your neighbor winging home in his Transition anytime soon. When production does begin (fingers crossed), the company expects to ramp slowly, building just two or three vehicles per month in the early going. Scroll down to watch the original debut video of the Transition.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      AngeloD
      • 1 Year Ago
      For $280K couldn't one simply buy a nice Cessna and rent a car when at an airport away from home, for much less?
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @AngeloD
        What if there are no rental cars where you want to go? There are many, many small airports across the country that are public and not served by rental agencies.
          The Wasp
          • 1 Year Ago
          @The Wasp
          @Cayman Take a look at a sectional chart -- no they do not.
          Cayman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @The Wasp
          Most small public airports do have local rental car agencies that will bring a car to you.
      gibbs5988
      • 1 Year Ago
      I didn't get it at first but now its growing on me. Its really a drivable plane, but there is a use for that. Imagine you fly your plane several hundred miles from Virginia to the beach in North Carolina so you can vacation for a week. If you go with a Cessna you wont have a car when you land so you will need to rent one, plus you need to keep your plane at the air port which I'm sure costs money. If you have this thing, you can just drive off the runway onto the road and voila you have wheels for the week you are on vacation!
        space
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gibbs5988
        yea, i live in a small town called ruston. we have a small airport. If I had one of these or say, the PALV, i could drive to the airport and fly to franklinton, the small town my mom lives in that also has its own small airport. I'd no longer have to drive 4 hours through Mississippi and back.
        Z. Kesh
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gibbs5988
        Yeah, like that's how most People commute.
        Andrew Palfreyman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gibbs5988
        Yes you have wheels, and they're about 9" diameter. Happy driving, and watch for those roads which aren't perfectly level. That means all roads.
        Oscar Goldman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gibbs5988
        Ladies and gentlemen, we have a rebel here: HE'S ACTUALLY THINKING THIS THROUGH. A few others could take a lesson.
      d.hollywood
      • 1 Year Ago
      I applaud their efforts...for I would wish to own a flying car in my lifetime. I just think that it's gonna take a leap in propulsion units technology before appearance & practicality benchmarks would make such a vehicle desirable. In other words: A very powerful engine with range ...that occupies a smaller space...that can compensate for "traditional aerodynamics"...that does'nt cost an arm ,leg,& firstborn to own or operate.
      purplewonagain
      • 1 Year Ago
      \"Where we\'re going, we don\'t need roads\"
      bonehead
      • 1 Year Ago
      I really wish people would stop calling this a flying car. It is not. It is a driving plane.
        New Shimmer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bonehead
        You are technically correct. It is more of a driving plane. The concept of a flying car is cooler than that of a driving plane, but if a driving plane is as close as you can get, you call it a flying car. I'm not picky, I'd settle for a submarine Lotus like in The Spy Who Loved Me. I'd even go for one of those antigravity platforms from Jonny Quest.
      New Shimmer
      • 1 Year Ago
      Quarter-million dollar airplanes aren't something you need. They are something you want. People want flying cars. I want a flying car, either that or the Batmobile.
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @New Shimmer
        I want it also.
        Cayman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @New Shimmer
        I think children want something like this (or a batmobile). When you grow up your realize it doesn\'t make much sense. Yes, it would cool the first time you land and are able to drive it, but I think most people would rather just spend that kind of money for a much better plane and car.
      Car Guy
      • 1 Year Ago
      1) VIN's come from the International Standards Organization, not NHTSA. 2) NHTSA doesn't "certify" vehicles. Manufacturers declare their vehicles meet all the standards and NHTSA then has the option to test them or not. I don't see them coughing up $279K to crash one of these however.
      Drakkon
      • 1 Year Ago
      This seems like a bad idea on so many levels. Are those wheels & suspension really going to live through potholes? Second, if it is a small, cramped, non-air conditioned cabin, couldn't you just own a small, cramped, cheap car and park it at both airports?
      Cayman
      • 1 Year Ago
      Haven't there been a dozen attempts to create a flying car? The problem is that people don't really need a flying car. And the aerodynamics required for an airplane are not well suited for a car. I really don't see the point here. If you were able to combine a car with a helicopter at a reasonable price, then maybe that would make sense; but I don't see how you do that. And at over $250K I think they are missing the mass market. For that kind of money I would get a nice car and a small slightly used airplane that I wanted, not a combination of a bad car and a bad airplane.
        gary
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cayman
        Exactly. The problem with all the flying car proposals to date is that they drive like planes and fly like cars. This looks no different to me, just another a crappy plane with the all the road-worthiness of GEM electric car. it see no value of this over a separate car and plane other than novelty. It's not like you can take to the air right from a congested highway. You still have to take off and land at an airstrip.
          Z. Kesh
          • 1 Year Ago
          @gary
          ..and that's the reason such vehicles never really make it.
        methos1999
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cayman
        Another example of an MIT based company - brilliant people who aren't able to see the forest through the trees...
          zajac911rs
          • 1 Year Ago
          @methos1999
          Well, they should have gone to Georgia Tech and they wouldn't have had that problem!
          methos1999
          • 1 Year Ago
          @methos1999
          Wasp - You seem to miss the point of the saying "seeing the forest through the trees". The meaning of the saying is to imply they focus so much on details, they miss the big picture. I am not referring to the mass market. In this case, I am questioning whether they'll have the ability to be profitable regardless of volume. There are many niche car companies that are unable to maintain profitability and fail. And while I'm not aerospace expert, I expect the same is true of niche airplane companies. So now you have twice the problems, at twice the expense, with a tiny market. So hey, they're to be applauded for the technical expertise to even bring it to market and potentially selling some (trees), but it's of little value if the company can't make a survive by making a profit (forest).
      Mikey
      • 1 Year Ago
      A flying car?! Are they high? HAHAHA
      diffrunt
      • 1 Year Ago
      jack of all, master of none. traffic ? parking? This guy wasn't born the last time this happened.
      Frank Wulfers
      • 1 Year Ago
      How much would it cost to insure this quarter million $ car? Would AAA provide roadside assistance? While nobody needs such a flying a car, I am sure it will be a great toy for the rich. If you can spend a quarter million on a plane, I am sure you can also afford a taxi ride to the nearest car rental place.
        Oscar Goldman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Frank Wulfers
        Yes, keep troweling out that ignorance. Heaven forbid that someone, especially Americans, design and build a new product that could advance the state of general aviation! Never mind that a plane you can land and drive allows you to avoid bad weather in flight but lets you continue your trip, thus increasing safety. Never mind the savings on hangar space, since you can park in your garage. Or that this thing burns unleaded gas, and gets good mileage.
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