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Flying-car prototype goes for test flight -- and drive

April 02, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • Terrafugia's Transition takes flight.
Terrafugia's Transition takes flight. (Terrafugia )

Want to watch a car take flight? You are in luck. Terrafugia, makers of Transition -- the world's first flying car -- has released video of a production-type prototype flying over Plattsburgh, N.Y. today.

The flight was the first successful test of the two-seat personal aircraft that you can park in your garage, drive on the road and fill up at a gas station.

"This is a very exciting time for Terrafugia," said Carl Dietrich, the company's CEO and CTO. "We are on our way up -- literally and figuratively!"

The Transition reached an altitude of 1,400 feet during its first test flight, and spent a total of eight minutes in the air, company officials said.

In the video, Terrafugia's chief test pilot, Phil Meteer, is seen pulling the Transition out of a garage, driving it around a suburban neighborhood and then filling it up with fuel from a regular gas station.

When he gets to an airport, the car/plane's wings automatically unfold. When the "transition" is complete, Meteer completes a pre-flight check and then takes to the skies.

"It's a remarkable vehicle both on the road and now in the air," said Meteer in a statement. "When I drove it into the shop, literally from the road through the garage door, I was amazed that I had just flown it in Plattsburgh a few days before."

There are still six more phases of flight testing planned, but a spokesperson for Terrafugia said the company is still on track to to deliver the plane by late 2012.

Anyone with a driver's license can drive the Transition on the road, but potential pilots will need a light-sports-aircraft license.

The Transition has a 23-gallon gas tank. It gets about 35 mpg on the road and burns about five gallons of gas per hour when it is at cruising speed in the air.

Terrafugia said it has already received about 100 orders for the Transition.

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Original source: Flying car goes for a test drive / flight

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