A scale model of
the next generation design of the Terrafugia Transition was
unveiled to the public on Monday.
Terrafugia unveiled a scale model of its
next-generation flying car on Monday, and announced it will make its
first public flight at next year's EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
"This next-generation design is the
culmination of the past four years of desired improvements to our poof
of concept," said Carl Dietrich, Terrafugia's CEO and co-founder.
"These design changes and improvements are based on data acquired
during the driving and flight testing of this vehicle, and extensive
computer-aided design optimization."
The proof of concept was built from July
2007 to July 2008, with ground and air testing taking place between
September 2008 and June 2009.
The revised Transition roadable aircraft
- Automobile-style crash safety
features, including a rigid safety cage to protect its occupants,
crumple zones, and driver and passenger airbags
- A customized, intuitive touch-screen
interface in the cockpit
- An improved wing with an optimized
airfoil and a folding-wing mechanism that operates smoothly from
inside the vehicle
- A higher efficiency pusher propeller
with an open empennage that makes efficient use of the 100-hp Rotax
912 S engine
- Rear-wheel drive with a continuously
variable transmission and tuned independent suspension for the road
Dietrich said Terrafugia was able to add
the safety features, thanks to an FFA exemption that allowed Transition
to exceed the weight of a light-sport aircraft by 110 pounds, to 1,430
"Because our vehicle is designed for
dual mode use in the same way an amphibious aircraft is, the FFA saw fit
to allow us an additional 110 pounds, just like the amphibians, for
automotive-style safety features…," Dietrich said. Those safety
features are not available in other light aircraft, he said, and should
make the Transition one of the safest LSA in the world.
The next-generation Transition is
expected to cruise at 105 mph and burn fuel at 5 gph. On the road, it is
expected to get 35 miles per gallon when driven at 65 mph.
Dietrich said the next-generation design
is currently under construction and should be completed by early next
year, with deliveries taking place in late 2011. It will still be small
enough to fit inside a single-car garage.
Terrafugia had originally said the proof
of concept would sell for $194,000, but the company is re-evaluating
that price because of the new design, Dietrich said. So far, the company
has more than 80 orders.
Noting that Terrafugia has been coming to
AirVenture since 2006, EAA President/Chairman Tom Poberezny called
Oshkosh the incubator of dreams. "We're very excited about the
opportunity that makes dreams a reality."