LSA Flying Car Starts Flight Test Program

The Terrafugia roadable airplane gets airborne.

Flying Car - Terrafugia

Flying Car - Terrafugia

Terrafugia's flying car

Start up LSA manufacturer Terrafugia reached an important milestone the other week with the first flight of the production prototype version of its roadable airplane, called the Transition. The short sortie — it lasted but eight minutes and went only as high as 1,400 feet agl within the vicinity of the Plattsburg, New York, airport — was still high-flying news for Terrafugia, which is seeking to start deliveries of the Transition within the next year. The company, for the record, made the first flight of the proof-of-concept airplane nearly three years ago.

The Transition is a two-seat side-by-side, twin-tail pusher powered by a Rotax 912 ULS engine. The wings on the airplane can be folded electrically in a few moments -- we've seen this demonstrated; it's impressive. Once folded, the wings stay with the airplane as you drive. Terrafugia says the Transition can be parked in a standard garage or parking space and that it is street legal. It comes, for the record, with airbags and auto-style seat belts. (For more information on how it drives, check out 7 Surprising Flying Car Questions and Answers.)

The Transition goes for around $280,000, without air conditioning. We’ll continue to fill you in on the program as flight tests progress.