You are hereBlogs / WcP.Scientific.Mind's blog / From car to aircraft in 15 seconds: 'roadable' plane Terrafugia Transition is a flying car that fits in the garage

From car to aircraft in 15 seconds: 'roadable' plane Terrafugia Transition is a flying car that fits in the garage

By WcP.Scientific.Mind - Posted on 19 January 2009

the Terrafugia Transition, from car to aircraft in 15 seconds


The fantasy of spy novels and science fiction films is at last becoming reality with a vehicle that can turn from car to aircraft in 15 seconds

It is the ultimate off-roader and it is coming to an airstrip near you. The Terrafugia Transition is a two-seater plane that at the touch of a button converts into a road-legal car. It takes its maiden flight next month and is scheduled to hit the showrooms by next year. “It’s like a little Transformer,” says Carl Dietrich, the Terrafugia boss, proudly. “This is the first really integrated design where the wings fold up automatically and all the parts are in one vehicle. All we have is one simple folding wing, and that means the Transition takes just 15 seconds to switch between flying and driving.”

the Terrafugia Transition is ‘roadable’ when the wings fold against the body, accordion style

The Terrafugia Transition is a light sport airplane with four wheels and foldable wings that span 27.5ft when extended. It can soar up through the skies just like a regular aircraft then land on the ground, fold up its two wings and drive down the road at highway speeds. Measuring 19 feet long, it has an airborne range of 460 miles and can cruise at 115mph. According to early reports, the plane uses unleaded gasoline - no rocket fuels necessary. It runs via the 100 horsepower four-stroke Rotax 912S engine.

Dietrich has a well-rehearsed list of reasons why “roadable aircraft” make financial sense. They promise to be quicker than cars for intercity commuting, fit into a normal garage (saving hangar fees) and even run on plain old premium unleaded. However, he’s missing the real reason the Transition is causing such a stir in the automotive as well as the aviation world: flying cars are cool. They’re James Bond. They’re Blade Runner. They’re Back to the Future.

the Terrafugia Transition 'roadable' plane can be kept at home, with wings folded up, in your garage

At the moment, though, Terrafugia’s car looks more like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang than The Jetsons. The prototype Transition has been made at Terrafugia’s small workshop in Woburn, Massachusetts, by a team of young engineers recruited from MIT and NASA. The ungainly vehicle has a single engine — a 100bhp petrol motor that drives either the wheels or a rear-facing propeller. As a car, it has a normal steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedals, but no gear stick (the Transition has a continuously variable transmission).

the Terrafugia Transition top view

With its wings deployed and the propeller spinning, the Transition can take off from any airfield, although not from roads — it’s illegal everywhere in the US except in sparsely populated Alaska. It can fly up to 500 miles on a single tank of petrol at a cruising speed of about 115mph. That’s the plan, at least. Though it has reached 90mph in test drives, the prototype Transition’s wheels have yet to leave the ground.

Terrafugia, Inc.’s Transition Roadable Aircraft

That’s not for technical reasons; it’s because the various road and aircraft licensing authorities have been wondering how to classify it. “It took six months just to get our plate,” says Dick Gersh, a former lawyer with the car insurance industry and now a vice-president at Terrafugia. “The government, insurance companies and lawyers have never contemplated a flying car. I wanted a car that could fly and drive but you couldn’t do either because you couldn’t get insured.” Gersh is confident that he will be able to insure the Transition once it makes a successful test flight — and a safe landing. The Transition has a safety cage and crumple zones, although it will not have to pack the latest safety features or undergo a crash test before it takes to the air.

“There are already exemption policies for low-volume manufacturers like Lamborghini,” says Dietrich. “We can’t afford the huge amounts of research and development for motion-sensing airbags, and we certainly can’t afford to crash-test our only prototype. If it makes you feel safer, Boeing doesn’t crash-test its big jets either.”

world’s first commercially available flying car: the Terrafugia Transition

Terrafugia hopes to deliver the first production flying car by the middle of next year. The company already has orders for 40 aircraft. “The majority of our customers are retired or near-retired couples who want a fun vehicle to putter around the country in. They’ve worked hard their whole lives and now they can have a flying car, a technology that they’ve been promised in films and TV since they were a kid,” says Dietrich. “We even have a couple of orders from people who are not pilots but will learn because of this vehicle. They’re willing to put money down on a vehicle that they can’t fly yet.”

Terrafugia’s Transition will set them back a cool $200,000 (£132,000). “For an airplane, that’s very reasonable, but for a car, that’s very much at the high end,” Dietrich admits. “It’s got to start there. You can’t make a $10,000 flying car yet. This is not going to change overnight and it won’t become a mass-market item any time in the near future. But in the long term we have the potential to make air travel practical for individuals at a price that would meet or beat driving, with huge timesavings. And that could be a real game-changer for aviation as well as driving.”

simple: the 'roadable' plane can be filled up at the local petrol station with unleaded

The flying car has been technically possible for years but the legal runway was cleared for take-off only four years ago. The American Federal Aviation Authority created a new category of plane called light sports aircraft. These planes are subject to fewer rules and regulations than traditional passenger aircraft and can be flown by pilots after just 20 hours of training, half the normal American requirement.

At the same time, advances in avionics (the systems that allow you to pilot the plane) have made flying much simpler. Gone are the days when a plane’s cockpit was a kaleidoscope of flashing buttons and switchgear. Instead, new technology means that the inside of a cockpit is little different from that of a luxury car. Navigation can be taken care of by GPS, weather patterns can be displayed on a simple colour screen and automatic throttles help to keep control of the aircraft.

ease: pilots will be able to drive to the local airport, take off and then fly for up to 460 miles (740 km)

So the next time you remind the passengers in your car to fasten their seatbelts, it might be in preparation for take-off.

Blue-sky thinking: the rivals -

Parajet Skycar: a lightweight two-seater buggy that uses a giant fan mounted on the back and a paraglide-style chute to keep it airborne.

A5 ICON Aircraft: the world’s first multi-purpose recreational flying vehicle.

PAL-V Europe BV: a three-wheeled girocopter, capable of vertical take-off and landing.


Photos courtesy of Terrafugia,,, and Solent News and Photo Agency

Original Source: Times Online, Chattahbox, and Daily Mail

Related Articles: Optimistic signs for 2009 and The ultimate yuletide surprise: a car with wings

Official Site: Terrafugia Transition the Roadable Light Sport Aircraft

Your article is really amazing. Thanks for sharing this post with us.

I'm still learning from you, but I'm trying to achieve my goals. I certainly enjoy reading all that is written on your site. Keep the articles coming. I enjoyed it!

Thanks for sharing this nice blog. I read it completely and get some interesting blog content . I am waiting for your new blog pleas share new blog information my Email id.
Thanks a lot....

Great writing it is such a good and nice idea thanks

There are two primary reasons. One is that the innovation is basically based off a framework (oil, gas, and streets) that makes it really simple to construct a marginally better auto and make benefits. So the "need" hasn't been sufficiently high to make it worth while for extensive financial specialists to make flying autos.

Electronically monitored slowing mechanisms were initially created for air ship. An early framework was Dunlap's Maxaret framework, presented in the 1950s and still being used on some air ship models. This was a completely mechanical framework. It saw restricted car use in the 1960s in the Ferguson P99 dashing auto, the Jensen FF and the exploratory all wheel drive Ford Zodiac, however saw no further utilize; the framework demonstrated costly and, in car use, fairly questionable.

This is all very new to me and this article really opened my eyes.New car. Cool.I really wish I hadn’t seen this as I really want one now!">cosplay costumes

I want this car! Is it already in sale??
Ted -

I can say that I`m very surprised. I never heard about this type of car or plane.It`s a great idea.I wonder what kind of">axle assembly it has and how much it costs if it brokes.

I didn`t hear neither. I think it`s amazing. I only saw it on the SF movies. Having this type of car in my garage it will be great.

With the rising fuel prices, it will become more and more expensive to pilot one of these things in the future. Assuming someone has the funds to buy it, and also of course has the time to get the license to pilot it.

Or do you think it is going to be just a leisure aircraft? Do you see it "taking off" and leading to flying cars? I moved away from a scenario ten years ago and don't want my family having it easier to get to me. Am I just being paranoid?

This flying car design is quite brilliant, but I'm not sure how practical it is. I first saw a picture of it in the local newspaper... I thought to myself "who would drive such a contraption?" or better yet, who would drive it and fly it?

your post is very useful and very informative its my pleasure to reach on this post for getting best information and increase my knowledge">flying car 2015

This flying car can be quite practical, Robyn. I live in West Maine and in order to get to work every day I need to cross a crowded bridge that's often closed due to the bad weather. A car like this one could be a life saver for me and other people in my situation.

From car to aircraft...That's great!!! First time I heard about this and I am shocked. Is it true? How did they make and have the same parts as the normal car. Such a great vehicle with good transition, safety cage and beautiful design.">Car Reviews

What makes me curios about is how would a driver switch from driving to flying and if the driver requires a "flying license. Probably not the flying car I imagined way back in high school and I wonder if would see one in any">LA luxury car rental in the future.

Look at this. From aircraft to car? How did they make this kind of vehicle? Awesome. Does this vehicle have the same parts as the normal car like let say,">transmission parts and brakes parts? Does this run on the same fuel? Innovation has gone beyond peoples imagination. This is a proof of that. I can see the future is very bright ahead of us.

Honestly, there are no flying cars yet in our country and I haven't heard or seen anyone has it. I am sure only those billionaires can only afford to buy this one. But honestly too, we don't know that there is also much traffic in the sky nowadays the same almost the traffic in the land.">work at home job

I wish to show my thanks to the creator of this blog. Keep contributing a good concepts and strategies. Many people will surely improve their skills by reading blogs like this.

yes me too wont say thanks to the creator of this blog. Keep contributing a good concepts and strategies. Many people will surely improve their skills by reading blogs like this.

Contact Us

Contact Us

RSS feed

Subscribe to WcP Blog RSS feed


WcP Blog on Twitter


WcP Blog on Facebook

Custom Search

Archive Calendar

November 2020

Random image

Weekly Planner - Snapshot of MIT


Search the Web

Custom Search

Featured Videos

Latest Quote

"We come from the earth.
We return to the earth.
And in between we garden."
- Author Unknown

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."
- Cicero

Recent comments

Reader Reviews

  • "Great culture sharing. This is really important to show all over the world and different cultures and nature to whole world." - Anonymous (January 27, 2019)
  • "This is one of the most incredible blogs I've read in a very long time. The amount of information in here is stunning, like you practically wrote the book on the subject. Your blog is great for anyone who wants to understand this subject more. Great stuff; please keep it up!" - Anonymous (May 29, 2018)
  • "I am just happy to know about your website. It's informative and valuable for me. Thanks for sharing interesting info with us. Keep doing best in future." - Kelvin (May 28, 2018)
  • "Very good and creative website, graphics are wonderful." - Ricky (October 7, 2017)
  • "This is absolutely fantastic photography. I recommended to lovers of photography." - Christina (June 30, 2017)
  • "Your website seems to have precious gemstones on the subject of penning." - Bryce (March 29, 2017)
  • "Your articles are constantly awesome. You compose with exactness and your data is constantly precise. What's more, those two things make an article go from great to awesome! Continue distributing more extraordinary articles." - Ayesha (March 19, 2017)
  • "You are doing an amazing job." - Jake (January 4, 2017)
  • "I am an anthropology student and this site has helped me a lot to know more about the various cultures across the world. This is the reason I visit the site so often. Keep on sharing more and more posts like this. Thank you." - Anonymous (April 3, 2016)
  • "Your site is valuable. Appreciative for sharing! Awe inspiring Blog!" - Anonymous (March 16, 2016)
  • "This blog is the book which has feelings for around their lives. Will you produce intense addons." - Anonymous (January 26, 2016)
  • "Interesting quote. I have gone through different posts in this website. I could see different themed quotes and interesting posts here. I am much impressed with this website. Keep up the good work and keep sharing interesting stuff." - Howard (January 25, 2016)
  • "I was so impressed by it I felt I would reach out to you to say thank you. Great work...that's one great blog you've got there!" - Kayla (January 8, 2016)
  • "This is incredible. Finally something new. I was reading comics the whole time. This is the real fact, which I do not think anyone else has such a well written and updated blog like yours." - Zach (January 7, 2016)
  • "The Superbly defined stuff of reading, you constructed a masterpiece with your magical mind. Your writing skills are simply awesome. Great work!" - Katie (December 28, 2015)
  • "This really shows that you can still find folks that care about the things they post online. I really liked browsing the comments." - Myles (December 23, 2015)
  • "Yes i agree with the above poem that window is the world so far i have come across. Every thing comes from it. You have written in a very poetic way. Looking forward for more poems from this." - Anonymous (December 11, 2015)
  • "Every last tip of your post is incredible. You're really great to share. Keep blogging..." - Anonymous (December 8, 2015)
  • "I always take pleasure in your articles. You have a gift for discussing such stirring topics in ingenious yet amusing ways. Your posts help us realize that our troubles are typical, and we can solve them in ready to lend a hand ways..." - Angela (October 05, 2015)
  • "We all appreciate the power of words you always provide!" - Anonymous (October 05, 2015)
  • "So poetic..." - Anonymous (September 15, 2015)
  • "The method for composing is phenomenal furthermore the substance is first class. A debt of gratitude is in order for that knowledge you give the perusers!" - Anonymous (July 23, 2015)
  • "Your configuration, man...too astonishing! I cant hold up to peruse what you've got next.Thanks for your superb posting!" - Anonymous (July 16, 2015)
  • "I found myself starring at these photos. I cannot believe that I haven't seen them before, taking into account that I am mesmerized by sea and ocean as one can be by forces of nature. Thank you so much for putting them out here, because even though they were posted by such a giant as National Geographic, I still have missed them. Well, “dazed” is the exact word that describes the feeling that I felt when I first set my eyes in these photos." - Anonymous (July 14, 2015)
  • "I will check your different articles without further ado. Continuously so fascinating to visit your site. Thank you for sharing, this will help me such a great amount in my learning." - Anonymous (July 10, 2015)
  • "Extraordinary stuff, just basically astonishing! Keep it up in future. I am truly inspired by this site!" - Anonymous (July 3, 2015)
  • "I was reading your post since 2012 and you are writing so much outstanding ideas I must say you are a talented person." - William (June 29, 2015)
  • "I have never seen such amazing thoughts displayed in composing. Your author has an extremely one of a kind method for exhibiting data so as to catch the peruser's consideration." - Anonymous (June 27, 2015)
  • "Mind boggling posting! I really like the way you are sharing the exceptional tackle this subject." - Anonymous (June 25, 2015)
  • "I unquestionably appreciated all of it and I have you bookmarked your site to look at the new stuff you post in the future." - Anonymous (June 13, 2015)
  • "I was very thrilled to find this website. This is really interesting and I have recommended this site for my friends also. I had a fantastic read from this blog." - Anonymous (June 2, 2015)
  • ""The exposition seeks to discover a haven inside character and communicate gratitude for life during its peaceful and thoughtful vibe." - Micheal (May 19, 2015)
  • "Fantastic Blog! I might want to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post." - James (May 15, 2015)
  • "You are a good photographer your photography is good you click very nice shots which are very attractive and beautiful keep it up." - Ashlyn (May 5, 2015)
  • "Amazing! Great post! Wonderful pictures and well written article!" - Anonymous (March 10, 2015)
  • "Certainly worthwhile content! This is an excellent reference to spent time and gets authentic observation by reading." - Anonymous (February 12, 2015)
  • "Certainly exceptional blog! It is so wonderful content and acceptable with a clear concept. Thanks much!" - Lisa (January 13, 2015)
  • "Photography is my passion and like to learn something new about it. From your blog i have learned many things and i loved to read it thanks for sharing such a useful post" - Anonymous (January 1, 2015)
  • "Magnificent web blog! This is your superb consideration and appreciate your notion with this matter. Thanks a lot for sharing!" - Lisa (December 20, 2014)
  • "Undoubtedly enjoyed this blog! You set the subject content with exceptional abilities and a bit on the right track." - Lisa (December 17, 2014)
  • "It's an extraordinary joy perusing your post. It's loaded with data I am searching for and I want to post a remark that the substance of your post is wonderful. Thanks! :)" - Lilia (July 31, 2014)
  • "I do not even understand how I finished up right here, but I thought this to be great. I do not recognise who you are however certainly you
    are going to a famous blogger for those who are not already. Cheers!" - Gerald (July 24, 2014)
  • "Your blog is very informative. Also the images in it are beautiful!" - Anonymous (January 8, 2014)
  • "It is tempting to comment because of the amazing content on this blog. I wish I had a blog like this." - Anonymous (December 27, 2013)
  • "Thanks for trying to make the world a better place." - Anonymous (July 16, 2013)
  • "I have added to my favorites. I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. I believe this really is excellent information. Most of men and women will concur with you and I ought to thank you about it. Thanks for sharing." - Anonymous (May 16, 2013)
  • "This is awesome! Your photos are perfectly taken! It captured the decisive moment. I am a fan already." - Sarah (Apr. 15, 2013)
  • "Can I just say what a relief to obtain a person who truly knows what they're talking about on the web. You certainly know easy methods to bring an issue to light and make it critical. Extra individuals must read this and comprehend this side of the story. I can't believe you're not even more well-liked considering that you absolutely have the gift." - Anonymous (Jan. 23, 2013)
  • "I wish to show my thanks to the creator of this blog. Keep contributing a good concepts and strategies. Many people will surely improve their skills by reading blogs like this." - Anonymous (Dec. 25, 2012)
  • "I really like your style but mostly your initiative. The world needs more writers like yourself." - Steve (Jan. 18, 2012)
  • "It must be very rewarding to have a long term project like this and too see the progress being made! Thanks for sharing it." - Mika (Jan. 18, 2012)
  • "This was a very eye opening video. It's made an impact on me. We're so unaware of the things that we do every day can destroy our ecosystem. The statistics are mind blogging especially the fact that 90% of big fish are gone. We need to stop this somehow. I'm going to spread this page to my mutual friends. Thanks for this." - Joseph (Jan. 15, 2012)
  • "I enjoy this blog a lot." - Liz (California, USA; Oct. 17, 2011)
  • "Keep up the good work you're doing." - Casper (Melbourne, Australia)
  • "Thanks for sharing some great content through your blog. It has been a sincere pleasure to read." - Anonymous
  • "Always fresh and fascinating." - Anonymous
  • "Cool bio[mission statement]." - Darin (California, USA)
  • "You have some beautiful images. Love your site!" - Susan (Washington DC, USA)
  • "I love your Blog." - Kate (Ireland)
  • "A great site highlighting many important issues." - Bob (New Zealand; Feb. 20, 2010)
  • "Love the images on this blog..there are some interesting articles about health I noticed...we tend to run a 50/50 risk of a heart attack...I noticed when in the USA recently everyone seemed huge..they ate massive meals...I reckon that is one cause of heart failure...just my opinion..but yeah these articles can be worrying to some folk so just heed the advice...I know I will." - Mick (The Sunshine Coast, Australia; Aug 29, 2009)
  • "Excellent blog." - Bill (Vancouver Island, Canada)
  • "Fantastic blog and educational articles, much enjoy visiting...Thank you!" - Lotus1150 (Alberta, Canada; Aug 28, 2009)
  • "Great site and awesome photos." - David (Washington DC, USA)
  • "I loved your website. Even finding some news about Turkey made me surprised." - Anonymous (Turkey)
  • "Gorgeous site ... the kind of place you could lose yourself for hours (suppose that was intentional?). Also, cartoons, commentary on the events of the times, etc. Great stuff." - Daniel (Nevada, USA; Jan. 03, 2009)
  • "...may your blog, ideas and efforts help many more people." - Anonymous (New Mexico, USA)
  • "Very cool site..." - Anonymous
  • "Amazing site, worth the visit every time... enjoy." - Sam (Saudi Arabia)
  • "Easy to read and well-designed." - Colin (Arizona, USA; Apr. 22, 2009)
  • "Unique mix of news, photos and poetry." - Frasier (Virginia, USA)
  • " is an extremely interesting collection of news articles. It calls itself "A Window On the World". The site contains a wide variety of topics, all very informative and pertinent to life in today's world." - Cynthia (Massachusetts, USA; Aug. 07 2008)
  • "Wow. Cool." - Christopher (Melbourne, Australia; Dec. 10 2008)
  • "An interesting way to check out the wonders of our world." - Anthony (Ohio, USA)
  • "Nice site, especially the rss icon." - Daniel (California, USA; Sep 10, 2008)
  • "Good blog - Everything from news to photography. Very informative." - "explicitmemory" (Texas, USA)
  • "Very informative site by prose and picture..." - Jeff (Michigan, USA)

AdSense unconfigured block. Click to configure.