Terrafugia's flying car: Transition
Boston Business Journal reports that Terrafugia, a Woburn, MA manufacturer of flying cars has been working on its vehicles for almost eight years. The MIT-born company has been working on two kinds of cars: the Transition, which is scheduled to be released in mid-2016 and can fly at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour at up to 10,000 feet in the air; and
a semi-autonomous plug-in hybrid vehicle, the TF-X, which is currently in conceptual design phase and can take off and land vertically and can fly at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. The TF-X does not have a price tag yet and will take about 8 to 12 years before it's a reality.
The Transition, now in its third and final prototype, requires a driver to have a sport pilot certificate, meaning about total 20 hours of training. Already, 100 customers have pre-ordered the vehicles, which have a total price tag of $279,000. That's almost $30 million in pre-orders.
Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich said the average customer is retired or semi-retired. They're also interested in the vehicle for recreational purposes, he said. Or they fit in another category entirely.
"Many were promised a flying car when they were younger and now they can get one," said Dietrich.
It hasn't been an easy road for Terrafugia or its promise of flying cars.
In 2010, the Boston Herald reported that the Federal Aviation Administration granted the company an exemption from rules that allow a maximum takeoff weight of 1,430 pounds for the Transition. That's 110 pounds above the limit for the FAA's light sport aircraft category. The Herald also reported the car would be in production in 18 months — that was almost four years ago. Last year, the vehicle made its first public flight.