Urban Air Mobility (UAM) could be the way of the future for cities crippled by traffic – with no where to go, quite literally, but up. The vehicles are there to fly: passenger drones, flying cars – or from Terrafugia, a road and air vehicle that is both. Terrafugia’s Transition® “Roadable Aircraft” has received an FAA special light-sport airworthiness certificate, one more step towards getting the ultimate hybrid vehicle into the hands of consumers. Check out the video below to see what the Transition® looks like up close – with foldable wings that allow it to fit in your regular garage.
Terrafugia’s fascinating solution to transportation is an integrated 2 seater aircraft and automobile. “Transition® is designed to meet safety standards from both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),” says a company press release. Now, the first step of their plan has been realized: the FAA has granted at least the aircraft portion of the vehicle an airworthiness certificate.
“The vehicle that received the certificate is legal for flight and represents the initial version of the Transition® roadable aircraft. Terrafugia will produce and sell additional initial (flight-only) versions to interested parties and will evolve the driving portion of the Transition® design, with
the goal of being legal both in the sky and on local roads in 2022.”
“We are excited to have reached our goal of an airworthiness certificate for the initial version,”
said Kevin Colburn, Vice President and General Manager of Terrafugia. “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. This is a major
accomplishment that builds momentum in executing our mission to deliver the world’s first
practical flying car.”
It’s a fascinating solution to urban mobility challenges. While certification of unmanned passenger aircraft may be a challenge in the U.S., the Transition hybrid is a step forward for urban air mobility – opening people’s minds to new modes of transport and traveling through the air for shorter, daily trips.