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Sat, Jun 11, 2011

Slipping: Terrafugia Roadable Aircraft Delayed in Traffic... and Delivery

Company 'Adjusts' Transition Delivery Schedule

The road to production of any new aircraft can be a tough one and one of the few roadable aircraft prototypes to seek full production is finding that out the hard way... Terrafugia, developer of the Transition "Flying Car" has confirmed a long-rumored delay to its projected delivery schedule. The delay allegedly resulted from a combination of production design challenges and problems with third party suppliers. The company has declined to go into more detail, but maintains its continued commitment to the success of the Transition program.

For the past year Terrafugia says it has been 'focused' on the development of prototype production tooling and processes as well as the construction of two Transition production prototype vehicles. The goal of demonstrating of one of these vehicles at AirVenture 2011 was announced at AirVenture 2010.... but that, too, will not happen on time.

In a letter to newsletter subscribers, Terrafugia CEO/CTO Carl Dietrich stated:
 
"It remains our goal to show one of the two production prototypes at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI this July, but the vehicle will not be ready to fly at the show. This is similar to the stage that the Proof of Concept (POC) vehicle was in at Oshkosh 2008 (i.e. mostly complete but untested). If we extrapolate from our experience with the POC, the first test flights would be expected in March of next year. To appropriately set expectations and adjust our scheduling margins based on recent experience with suppliers and other key third party contributors, we feel it is necessary to extend our anticipated first delivery date to late 2012..."

Dietrich added that, "...Our team continues to be committed to pushing the schedule forward as quickly as possible, but safety and quality must remain our top priorities - particularly as we begin our rigorous testing program. We will continue to focus our efforts on developing the safest, most convenient, and most fun personal aircraft the aviation world has ever seen. I believe that the Transition will be worth the wait, and we sincerely appreciate your support as we continue to overcome the challenges associated with bringing this revolutionary product to market."

FMI: www.terrafugia.com

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