Of all the “flying car”-type vehicles currently in development, Terrafugia’s Transition Street-Legal Airplane is quite likely the one that’s closest to actual commercial availability. Yesterday, the New York-based company announced that on March 23rd, one of two production prototypes of the vehicle successfully completed its maiden flight.
For those readers who remember already having seen shots of a flying Transition, you’re not mistaken. A proof-of-concept vehicle was completed in 2009, and has indeed already taken to the air. The model that flew for the first time last month, however, is closer to what customers may be able to buy.
The flight took place at Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, New York, and lasted about eight minutes. The aircraft stayed in the vicinity of the airport, reaching an altitude of 1,400 feet (427 meters) while its controllability and safe operational characteristics were demonstrated. This is reportedly just the beginning of six phases of planned flight tests.
Terrafugia is expecting first deliveries of the Transition to take place within the next year. If you’re interested in getting on the list, however, you’d better start saving now ... the anticipated base price of the vehicle is US$279,000 – a fair hike up from the 2010 estimate of $190,000.
The production prototype can be seen in action – on the ground and in the air – in the video below.