Terrafugia, a manufacturer in Massachusetts, has received final exemption approvals for its car-plane, or more properly known as a Transition® Roadable Aircraft.
All you’ll need is a driver’s license, and at least a sports pilot license, plus $235,000 to buy the funny looking car, er… plane.
Terrafugia was successful in its bid to obtain approval, and an exemption provided they could prove they are using aviation quality tires, and a plastic windshield capable of surviving a bird strike. The passenger structure is made of very hard carbon fiber that will protect its passengers, and the car also has traditional features required by NHTSA found on all vehicles such as crumple zones, and hazard lights plus comforts like cup holders, reclining seats and power steering.
The wingspan is 26 feet, vehicle length of 19 feet, and the wings fold up in less than one minute. Drivers/Pilots will not be allowed to take off or land on city streets or highways, instead, they must drive/fly to the nearest airport. Once in flight, encountering storms are no problem, the operator can easily land and drive through the storm.
Max speed: 100 kts (115 mph, 185 km/h)
Cruise speed: 93 kts (105 mph, 172 km/h)
Stall speed: 45 kts (51 mph, 83 km/h)
Range: 425 nmi (490 mi, 787 km)
Takeoff: 1700′ (518 m) over 50′ obstacle
Gross Takeoff Weight: 1430 lbs (650 kg)
Empty Weight: 970 lbs (440 kg)
Useful Load: 460 lbs (210 kg)
Fuel burn at cruise: 5 gph (18.9 L/h)
Useable Fuel: 23 gal (87L)
Mileage on road: 35 mpg (14.9 km/L)
The aircraft is classified as an LSA or Light Sports Aircraft by the FAA.
The company says becoming sports pilot licensed takes as little as 20 hours of flight time in a Transition®-specific course. It’s taking deposits of $10,000 and says they are refundable.
Florida residents are a key target market, with the state having the most neighborhood runways of any state in the U.S.
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