Roadable airplane comes in at an "affordable" $279,000 and gets 35 mpg on the road
Privately funded Terrafugia will debut to the auto world its Transition Roadable Aircraft at the 2012 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) April 6th through the 15th. Taking advantage of the regulations from 2004 introducing the sport pilot light-sport aircraft rule Terrafugia with its MIT educated engineers all of whom are pilots were able to work through a more streamlined certification process that previously would have made the go to market strategy nearly impossible for such an ambitious idea.
The pusher propeller coupled with a 100 hp Rotax 912S mid-mounted engine and rear wheel drive with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) for the road will have a range of 280 miles by land and air. The wings fold up tightly next to the fuselage and twin boom empennage remains in tact when traveling on terra firma. The rear wheels/landing gear are tucked nicely within the tail structures. Conversely and albeit as a near humorous accent, the legally mandated in the state of Massachusetts front license plate is an unfortunate necessity likely decreasing the cruising speed by 5 KIAS. But, truthfully, if you can take this from the tarmac to your driveway, you’ll likely make up for the time lost in the air or simply register it in one of the many states that doesn’t require this feature. The aptly named Woburn, MA based Terrafugia (Latin for “escape from land”) is now taking $10,000 deposits for the vehicles expected roll out date in 2013 for $279,000 per unit.
Cruise (air): 93 kts
Gross takeoff weight: 1430 lbs.
Fuel burn at cruise: 5 gph
Useable fuel: 23 gal
Mileage on road: 35 mpg
Key feature: cargo hold for golf clubs
Photos by Terrafugia