A brainy bunch of MIT grads have developed the Terrafugia Transition flying car and plan both road and flight-tests this year. They have been met with warm encouragement from the FAA and puzzlement from federal highway authorities.
Carl C. Dietrich, the 31-year-old CEO and chief technical officer, said the car could do highway speeds when it’s a car and 100 knots when it’s an airplane. A 100-hp Rotax 912S engine will power it using super unleaded auto gas. Performance specifications call for the $194,000 vehicle to go 400 nm on 20 gallons, and get 30 to 40 miles per gallon on the road. The company has 50 deposits for $10,000 so far.
The transition from car to airplane will require stopping, shutting down, entering an ID number, and unlocking the wings. Fifteen seconds later, the wings are folded down and the stick is unlatched and raised.
Learn more about the Terrafugia in the 2007 AOPA Pilot article, “A Flying Car...Seriously,” and accompanying video.