Back in 2006, a company named Terrafugia embarked on a journey to design the world's first Car-Plane Hybrid capable of cruising on the streets or taking to the skies. Countless hours and thousands of dollars went into the project led by graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which have finally culminated into the first flight of the Transition experimental aircraft.
The flight took place at the Plattsburg International Airport in New York, with retired Air Force Colonel Phil Meteer at the controls. The first flight was actually conducted on the 5th of March, although the news wasn't released until just a few days ago. Although the flight lasted only 37 seconds, it was more than enough to prove its ability to fly and more importantly, the feasibility of the concept as a whole.
The Transition itself is truly a perfect blend of airplane and automobile. While on the ground, the wings can be retracted to allow the vehicle to drive on normal roadways. Top speed is 65mph, which is more than enough for most places, and power is routed to the front wheels to increase drivability. At top speed, the Transition achieves an average of 30 miles per gallon.
When you feel the need to take to the skies, the transition from car to plane takes about 30 seconds as the wings are lowered into place. Once they have been secured, all you need is a runway and you are ready for takeoff. While in the air, the 100 horsepower Rotax engine is able to cruise along at 115mph for 450 miles.
Two people are able to fit inside the cabin, and it has a cargo area with room for you golf clubs or fishing poles. Among the other features of the Transition are automotive style entrances, modern avionics and several of the crash safety systems found on today's vehicles.
Delivery for the Transition is set to begin in 2011, with the final price set at $194,000. If you are interested in owning one, a fully refundable $10,000 deposit can be placed at the Terrafugia website.
Terrafugia , Youtube