Terrafugia - The Flying Car

Terrafugia has released new artists' renderings and updated specs for its Transition vehicle – the world's first flying car – at a press conference at the AirVenture aviation event in Oshkosh, Wis.

The Transition is technically known as a roadable aircraft, or a plane that can fold up its wings to achieve street-safe (and legal) dimensions.The vehicle has been given a mild design makeover, and is now imbued with a more car-like front courtesy of traditional headlights and a license plate holder.

Other newly updated features to the car-plane hybrid include rear-wheel drive with a continuously variable transmission, an independent suspension and a touch screen interface in the cockpit, or driver's seat, depending on one's location in the air or on the ground.
The prototype Transition flew its maiden voyage in March 2009 and passed with flying colors. Terrafugia's flying car cleared a key regulatory hurdle last month when the Federal Aviation Administration granted a 110 pound (50 kilogram) weight exception for the aircraft's class.

Performance-wise, the Transition is supposed to get 35 miles per gallon (14.9 kilometers per liter) of gasoline on the road and have a flying range of 490 miles (787 kilometers) per full tank. With a sustained cruising speed of about 105 miles (172 kilometers) per hour, that equals over four hours up in the sky.The first deliveries to customers are slated for late 2011, and Terrafugia is now accepting refundable $10,000 deposits to reserve a flying car.

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