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Wednesday, 30 June 2010 22:35

FAA says OK to flying car as light sport aircraft


The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted the Terrafugia Transition, a flying car (and a roadable airplane) the classification of Light Sport Aircraft, even though it is a little heavier than required.


The FAA stated that the Terrafugia Transition is a classified as a 'light sport aircraft' even though its weight is 110 pounds (50 kilograms) over the limit for such a classification.

Such a designation means that drivers of the vehicle only need 20 hours of flying time to get their license, less than if it had been included in the next classification.

The Terrafugia weighs approximately 1,430 pounds (630 kilograms) during take-off on a runway.

It weighs a bit more than other light sport aircraft because it is required to have safety features normally reserved for cars.

Such safety features include airbags, safety cage, and crush zones. And, the FAA granted this exception to the Transition for these safety reasons.

Learn more about the Terrafugia Transition in the March 19, 2009 iTWire article 'Is it a car? Or, is it an airplane? It's The Transition!'.

Page two continues with its list price when it becomes available for sale in 2011.



The iTWire article states that the Massachusetts company had designed the Transition as a light sport aircraft, but, at the time of the article, the vehicle had yet to obtain that FAA classification.

The company that makes the Transition, Terrafugia, made the vehicle so it can fly in the air or drive on the road. It is designed to fold up its winds so it can legally drive on roads.

The private company, founded in 2006, is based in Woburn, Massachusetts, which is just outside of Boston. Its founders are Dr. Samual Schweighart, Dr. Carl Dietrich, and Anna Mracek Dietrich.

The release of the Transition is expected in 2011. Its purchase price is listed at about $194,000. It has a flying range of 740 kilometers (460 miles).

The flying car (and a street-legal plane) carries up to two people, plus luggage, and operates either on high-octane unleaded gasoline or aircraft fuel.

It gets about 30 to 35 miles per gallon while driven like a car and about 5 gallons an hour when up in the air. Its cruising speed in the sky is about 115 miles per hour.

Page three concludes



The company's website states, 'Terrafugia (ter-ra-FOO-gee-ah) was founded in 2006 by award-winning MIT-trained aeronautical engineers and MBA's - who also happen to be passionate private pilots.'

'The company's mission is to provide innovative solutions to the challenges facing personal aviation. The result: the Transition® Roadable Aircraft.'

They also say, 'It's time to make the Transition ....'

A video of the Transition in action is found at the PhyOrg.com website 'Flying car should be available next year (w/ Video)


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