Terrafugia's Transition Street-Legal Airplane and flying car has taken a significant step forward to being sold and mass produced. The Transition prototype completed its first flight at Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, NY on March 23, 2012 said the company in a statement.
The successful first flight of this Production Prototype Transition marks a critical move toward initial production and first delivery, said COO Anna Mracek Dietrich, in a press release. The same vehicle also completed a road test earlier this year.
The Transition is a two-seat aircraft that acts a car when on land. Terrafugia said it plans to continue testing the prototype and hopes it will begin mass production within a year.
The first flight of the Transition Production Prototype is a major milestone for Terrafugia, said Terrafugia CEO/CTO and co-founder Car Dietrich, in a statement. 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. This is a very exciting time for Terrafugia. We are on our way up - literally and figuratively!
Terrafugi Chief Test Pilot Phil Meteer flew the transition to an altitude of 1400 feet for approximately eight minutes before descending to Platsburgh International Airport. He described it as a remarkable experience, never having flown anything like the Tranission before.
When I drove it into the shop, literally from the road through the garage door, I was amazed that I had just flown it at Plattsburgh a few days before, said Meteer in a statement. A long-overdue mode of transportation and fun is just around the corner. I can't wait for the upcoming flight tests and the chance to 'wring it out', demonstrating how safe and enjoyable the Transition is to fly.
Terrafugia was founded in 2006 by MIT-trained engineers who had a passion for flying. Since meting FAA regulations as a Light Sport Aircraft, the company has been eagerly preparing to deliver the first Transition in late 2012.