America’s Federal Aviation Administration has certified the Terrafugia Transition flying car as a Light Sports Aircraft. Even though the car/plane exceeded the category weight limit by 50kg, Terrafugia argued that the plane has had to pass road and traffic regulations as well, while other Light Sports Aircraft do not have to account for such extra burdens.
The FAA is the regulatory aviation body in America, so this is like passing rego. It also means anyone with a basic Sport Pilot license can fly it. Apparently the license costs a lot less and takes less time and effort to receive than a full pilot’s license.
Turning the flying car dream into realisation was a small team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates who formed the company, Terrafugia. And while the flying car may still seem a dream for most of us, CEO, Carl Dietrich, insists the Transition will be available on the market next year.
The Transition needs just 520m to take off over an obstacle of 15m in height and can cruise at around 200km/h. It’ll also fly for a distance of about 700km before needing a refuel. The Transition only uses an average fuel consumption of 7.8L/100km on the road too, not bad for a car that absolutely flies!
Cost? Anticipated USD$194,000. Options? A complete vehicle parachute.