It's that time of year where we take a look back at the future of transportation in 2013. We drove electric vehicles on four, three and two wheels. We saw an airplane that can transform into a car and rode an ATV that can turn into a jet ski. We visited a world-class Formula 1 race track and met a world champion Formula 1 driver. So join us for a few more laps around 2013 in our end of the year special.
How close does the Terrafugia Transition come to fulfilling the Jetsonian promise of a flying car? To Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich's own admission, "we usually think of it more as an airplane that has the added capability of driving." Still, the Transition is unlike anything else in the sky or on the road, even if it's not exactly the futuristic flying car that Hanna-Barbera imagined back in the 1960s.
It was only a month ago when Terrafugia took its Transition flying car (or driving plane, as CEO Carl Dietrich says) to the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for some exposure and its first public flight demonstration. We know the flight was a success, but Translogic was also there to get an inside look at the street-legal flying machine and capture it on video.
It's a car... It's a plane... It's the Terrafugia Transition! We catch up with the team behind the Terrafugia Transition flying car at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich explains this amazing feat of aeronautic and automotive engineering, then the Transition makes its first-ever public flight demonstration.
The boundless imagination of post-war American car design has long been on display at the AirVenture museum in the form of the 1949 Aerocar. But as of Monday, flying cars became a bit more relevant when the long-delayed, street-legal Terrafugia Transition took off and flew in public for the first time, reports the Journal Sentinel.
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.
The Terrafugia Transition flying car is closer to becoming a real road-going reality. The Transition finished its first round of Federal Aviation Administration certification flight tests (there are five more rounds to go) at Plattsburgh International Airport in New York, and is headed for on-road drive testing.
The Terrafugia Transition stands out from all the other vehicles on display at the New York Auto Show, not because it's the prettiest, or even the fastest. It is neither. It is, however, the only piece of road-going machinery in the Jacob Javits Center sporting a propeller and a pair of wings. And that's because it flies.
Visitors to the New York Auto Show will be able to take a closer look at the Terrafugia Transition 'Flying Car,' just days after the company's prototype made its first flight. The two-place airworthy machine is perhaps best considered a roadgoing low-wing aircraft (not a 'flying car'), as its technical specifications are anything but earthly.
The problem with previous attempts to build a flying car, according to some experts, is that engineers started with a car and tried to morph it into an airplane.
When the founders of Terrafugia embarked on the latest endeavor of taking the flying car out of the pages of science fiction and making it a transportation reality, they reversed the formula. They started with an airplane and attempted to build a car.
A little over a year ago we reported on the Jetsons-esque Terrafugia Transition flying car. Back in June 2010, the vehicle had just gotten past an important FAA regulatory hurdle that allowed it to be certified in the Light Sports Aircraft category. This was a big deal, no question, but for the past year the law has actually permitted only half of the Terrafugia's function.
The plane/car wasn't able to adhere to some of the standard safety requirements mandated by the Department of Transportati
Terrafugia has moved one step closer to bringing the world a flying "car". The Department of Transportation has granted the company a host of exemptions needed to get the Terrafugia Transition ready for the road. The plane/car-hybrid already employs a gaggle of automotive crash technology, such as crumple zones and airbags, but it needed help moving past a few of the standard car requirements that just don't work for something with wings.
The obvious glib commentary here would invoke Optimus Prime, or something. Instead, we're going to digress momentarily and say that the best kind of transformer involves an LP record and an SL1200. Either way, DARPA has its own transforming going on. The Pentagon's latest initiative has been dubbed Transformer, and it aims to make the prognostications of 1955 come true - flying cars and all. (Bonus points for DARPA if they can get them to fold up neatly into briefcases.)
We've brought you flying car prototypes before, including the famously never-quite-completed Moller Skycar, and so in keeping with that Jetson-motive reportage tradition, we now present for your perusal the Terrafugia Transition®. This roadable Light Sport Aircraft takes advantage of the strength and lightness of carbon fiber for its body work to keep its empty weight at 850 lbs. and get about 460 miles of flying/driving pleasure from 20 gallons of super-unleaded. That's about 23 mpg from th