Proof of Concept ‘Flying Car’ Completes Flight Tests

After 28 flights, stage one of testing is complete for the Terrafugia 'Transition' roadable airplane. Woburn, Massachusetts-based Terrafugia (Latin for 'escape from land') now moves on to the Beta Prototype testing stage, with a second airframe to be developed based on lessons learned from the POC vehicle.

First flight was March 5. First deliveries of the light sport eligible Transition are scheduled for 2011. Test pilot Phil Meteer said he'd like to continue flying the POC Transition, but acknowledges it's time to move on to the next developmental phase.

The initial test flights included evaluation of takeoff and landing performance, handling, stability and stalls. All the tests were designed to prove the safety of the Transition, while identifying areas that needed to be changed in the Beta Prototype.

The company did not elaborate on what those changes are. Nor was a schedule announced for the beginning of stage two testing. The company reported on its website that "work is underway" on the Beta Prototype.

Terrafugia was founded in 2006 by five pilots, graduates of MIT, and supported by a network of advisors and private investors.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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