The FAA this week issued a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category for the Transition flying car being developed by Terrafugia. The two-seat vehicle is now approved for flight mode and the manufacturer will seek to complete the approval process for road use in 2022.
The Massachusetts-based company, which is owned by Chinese automotive group Zhejiang Geely, is also working on a hybrid-electric eVTOL aircraft called the TF-2. The four-seat design is expected to have a range of 185 miles, a 1,200-pound payload, and a maximum speed of 144 mph.
The Transition is powered by a 100-hp Rotax 912iS Sport fuel-injected engine with a 2,000-hour time between overhauls. It runs on either premium gasoline or 100LL aircraft fuel and can fly at up to 100 mph and with a range of up to 400 miles at altitudes of up to 9,000 feet.
Standard equipment for the vehicle includes Dynon’s Skyview avionics suite, a whole-aircraft parachute for emergency landings, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, a rigid carbon fiber safety cage, and folding wings.
“We are excited to have reached our goal of an airworthiness certificate for the initial version [of the vehicle],” commented Terrafugia vice president and general manager Kevin Colburn. “During an extremely challenging pandemic year, our team remained focused, improved our quality system, completed the critical aspects of the design, built the vehicle, completed 80 days of flight testing, delivered 150 technical documents, and successfully passed the FAA audit.”
Terrafugia says it has started to take orders for the Transition from customers wanting to use it in flight mode only for now (i.e. operating out of an airfield, but not on public roads).