July 19, 2012
By Jim Moore
Woburn, Mass.-based startup Terrafugia announced that its Transition airplane-car hybrid has completed Phase 1 testing. This represents the first flights of the airplane outside of the airport environment. Photo courtesy Terrafugia.
After a splashy debut at the New York International Auto Show this year, Terrafugia has opted to work on flight testing during EAA AirVenture and will send a team of company representatives without the Transition “street-legal aircraft.”
Terrafugia Chief Operating Officer Anna Mracek said in a news release that an “aggressive” flight and road test schedule, now in the second of six planned phases, precluded bringing the prototype to EAA AirVenture this year, though executives will man a Terrafugia booth and have scheduled a presentation July 23 in Forum Pavilion 11 to cover the work done so far.
"Getting the Transition into production is our top priority,” Mracek said. “We hope all our friends at Oshkosh will understand.”
Terrafugia reports that orders have been rolling in as the Transition has been rolling on the roads and expanding its envelope in flight. The company reported booking more than 100 orders by the end of June, and said a “Premier Edition” program for early adopters is nearly sold out. The company has yet to set a date for first deliveries, which depends on the progress of testing.
The two-seat Transition, with folding wings for street use, will be tested for ASTM compliance in the future phases of testing. The company said current tests focus on expanding the envelope, calibrating airspeed, and stalls. The Transition production prototype first flew in March, and the company hopes to begin deliveries in about a year.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
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