Terrafugia Transition is expected to get 30 to 40 mpg as a car
and fly at 100 knots at 4.5 gph. Photo by Phil Weston
"roadable" aircraft is on static display at EAA AirVenture
Oshkosh 2008, but if all tests go as planned, it will be back in Oshkosh
next year to demonstrate its driving and flying capabilities.
CEO Carl Dietrich said the company will begin tests on the Transition’s
cooling system as soon as it returns to its Woburn, Massachusetts, base.
Driving tests should begin within two months, and it should make its
first flight by the end of the year.
Transition will be certificated as a light-sport aircraft. It will run
on super unleaded gasoline, so you can drive it to the pump to fill up,
and it should get 30 to 40 miles per gallon on the road. That’s
because it is lightweight — 1,320 pounds gross — with a 100-hp
engine, Dietrich said. An airframe and powerplant mechanic would need to
make repairs, however, since it is an aircraft that just happens to
people have already put down a deposit on a Transition, which sells for
$194,000 and will meet highway safety standards.
advantage of the Transition is that it gives pilots a fourth option when
they encounter bad weather. "Right now there are only three options
if you run into bad weather, and none of them are good," Dietrich
said. "You can turn around and go home, divert to the nearest
airport and sit it out, or push on. The Transition would allow pilots to
divert to the nearest airport, fold up the wings, and keep going. I
expect it will help pilots make safer decisions."
less than 15 seconds to fold up the wings, and it’s done at the push
of the button, he said. Safety precautions ensure that the wings can
fold up only when the pilot wants them to.
everything goes smoothly, the first delivery will be in late 2009. Those
who put down a deposit now should get their vehicle by the end of 2011,
The Transition is located
in the Main Aircraft Display area in booth 220-221.