Terrafugia preps flying car for New York auto show

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Flying cars have been the stuff of dreams for decades, and thus far, remains limited to the realm of science fiction.

Yes, many people have tried to make the dream of flying cars a reality for the masses, yet the only company that appears to have some form of limited success is Terrafugia with its Transition Roadable Aircraft.

This small car is designed with folding wings and can fit inside most normal garages for storage. The wings fold for normal driving, and when you feel like taking to the air, the flick of a switch unfolds the wings, and the car turns into an airplane.

The vehicle is set to make its auto show debut at the 2012 New York International Auto Show running April 6 to the 15th in New York City.

"We selected the New York International Auto Show to continue the roll-out of the Transition because of the value this show brings in terms of exposure to future owners, investors, and partners," explained Terrafugia COO Mracek Dietrich.

"The NYIAS is a venue from which we can show the first practical street-legal airplane to the world while meeting the people who will be part of its commercial success in the years to come. New York is the perfect place to accomplish all of this."

Indeed, Terrafugia will be showcasing a production prototype, allowing attendees to see the street-legal vehicle up close and watch its wings unfold.  The company will also be streaming new video of the car driving on the streets and flying through the air. The max speed for the Transition in the air is a cool 115 mph with a cruise speed of 105 mph. The range is 490 miles, and it requires 1700 feet to take off and make it over a 50-foot obstacle.

Gross takeoff weight for the aircraft is 1430 pounds giving the Transition a 460 pound useful load. The aircraft falls under the FAA Light Sport Aircraft rules. On the ground, the vehicle is rear-wheel drive and when in-flight the vehicle is powered by 100 HP Rotax 912ULS engine. Options for the aircraft include a full vehicle parachute system, and it boasts modern glass avionics. The anticipated price for the aircraft is $279,000 and orders are being taken now with $10,000 refundable deposits.