US start-up manufacturer and engineering company Terrafugia has completed the first phase of its flight-test programme for its $239,000 Transition "flying car". The two-seat light sport aircraft (LSA) is designed as a street-legal aircraft that can be driven safely on the highway.
"Phase 1 flight testing, conducted at Plattsburgh, New York allowed Terrafugia to check off many critical early testing objectives for the Transition programme, says the Woburn, Massachusetts-headquartered company. "It's a real airplane; we're flying it whenever we want, for as long as we want," adds chief executive Carl Dietrich.
The flying car takes off
The tests the prototype has completed include power on and power off, handling, aircraft stability, engine-cooling evaluation, and propeller setting optimisation in various flight conditions. Five more flight-test phases are planned.
"The production prototype is now moving into drive testing to explore the ground drivetrain, suspension tuning, braking performance and road handling," says Terrafugia.
It adds that top priority this quarter will be flight and drive-testing in expectation of certification compliance with LSA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards.
Terrafugia says its mission is "to design and deliver revolutionary, practical, air and land vehicles that provide freedom, flexibility and fun".