Terrafugia Transition POC Showcased At AirVenture 2008 | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Most Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Airborne-Monday

Airborne-Tuesday

Airborne-Wednesday Airborne-Thursday

Airborne-Friday

Airborne On YouTube

Airborne Unlimited-10.18.21

Airborne-Unlimited-10.19.21

Airborne-Unlimited-10.20.21

Airborne-Unlimited-10.21.21

Airborne Unlimited-10.22.21

ANN LIVE Coverage of AEA 2021 Is Archived at www.airborne-live.net

Thu, Jul 31, 2008

Terrafugia Transition POC Showcased At AirVenture 2008

Engineers From MIT Working On 21st Century Version Of 1960s "Aero Car"

In the true spirit of innovation, this week a group of award-winning MIT Aeronautical Engineers introduced a proof of concept version of what they prefer to call a "roadable aircraft" they hope will expand the general aviation market and bring more flexibility to flying.

The Terrafugia management team credits the creation of the Light Sport category of aircraft as the catalyst to being able to develop a buildable and marketable LSA, capable of both flying and driving.

Unlike other historic attempts at developing a "flying car", the Transition's transformation from aircraft to car is fully automated and takes an estimated 15 seconds to fold the wings and reconfigure from an aircraft to a car. The company has a US patent pending on the folding wing technology, and from a business perspective, sees many of the technological achievements as alternative revenue sources to fund company growth and financial stability.

Terrafugia President Dr. Carl Dietrich shared with reporters Monday what MIT scientists believe are fundamental obstacles to increasing the General Aviation (GA) market and the benefits that a roadable aircraft has in response. The first obstacle presented is weather. The Transition would allow the LSA pilot to use the road configuration during IFR conditions. Dietrich says this improves safety, by providing an alternative option to "pushing it" in marginal VFR.

Another obstacle Dietrich (shown below) cited is cost. The Transition is spec'd with a 20 gallon tank designed to achieve 4-5 gallons per hour fuel economy in flight configuration. It can be powered with either super-unleaded gasoline or 100LL, and most notably would not require a hangar or tie-down space at an airport. The Transition could be driven home and parked in the garage.

The third issue mentioned was mobility once arriving at an airport. The theory is the remote nature of most GA airports presents some inconvenience and the ability to drive to an off airport destination would appeal to many GA aircraft users.

The interior cabin is equipped with two seats and has both a fixed wheel, for driving, and a left handed stick typical in most LSAs. The stick can be mounted to the floor in driving configuration. The Transition is carbon fiber construction powered by a Rotax 112S. Based on an estimated empty weight of 890 lbs, the aircraft would have an approximately payload of 430 pounds with a range of 400 nm and a cruise speed of 100 kts.

In addition to FAA certification, the Transition must also pass roadway safety standards mandated by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), explained Gregor Cadman, one of Terrafugia's engineers. "The Transition will include things like airbags, safety glass, and a must undergo a crash test" said Cadman. "FAA is used to looking at new aircraft concepts; we can't say the same for NHTSA. They're used to talking with the likes of Ford and GM. These features do add some weight."

The design has been extensively tested in simulation and the MIT wind-tunnel. The proof of concept aircraft will undergo further refinement in the Boston area and is projected by Terrafugia to be road tested in the Fall 2008 and take its first flight Late 2008. If all goes as planned, the first delivery would occur as early as Late 2009.

They anticipate the purchase price to be in the range of $194,000 and are accepting deposits of $10,000.

FMI: www.terrafugia.com/

Advertisement

More News

Aero-News: Quote of the Day (10.21.21)

“While we intend to grant all valid requests for accommodations, in the event a request is not granted, the company will provide adequate time for an employee to become fully>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (10.21.21)

Aero Linx: The Canadian Sport Parachuting Association (CSPA) The Canadian Sport Parachuting Association (CSPA), through affiliation with the Aero Club of Canada (ACC), is Canada&rs>[...]

ANN FAQ: Contributing To Aero-TV

How To Get A Story On Aero-TV News/Feature Programming How do I submit a story idea or lead to Aero-TV? If you would like to submit a story idea or lead, please contact Jim Campbel>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (10.21.21): Radar [ICAO]

Radar [ICAO] A radio detection device which provides information on range, azimuth and/or elevation of objects. 1) a. Primary Radar− Radar system which uses reflected radio s>[...]

Airborne 10.18.21: MAX Pilot Indicted, Delta v Vax, Virgin Delays-Again

Also: Canada Limits 5G, Sonaca 200 Selected, Alaskan Aviation Safety, Bell Autonomous Pod Transport A federal grand jury in the Northern District of Texas returned an indictment ch>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2021 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC