Terrafugia flying car takes to skies in first public air show flight

Terrafugia Transition Flying

There can’t be many vehicles that can turn up at a car show and an air show and not look out of place at either. The Terrafugia Transition has managed it. How? Because it’s a car you can fly. And a plane you can drive.

After making its debut at the New York Auto Show last year, the car-airplane this week wowed crowds during several flights at the enormous EAA AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It was the first time for the Terrafugia to fly at such an event. 

A video (below) of one of Terrafugia’s two flights shows chief test pilot Phil Meteer behind the steering wheel at the controls as he drives down the runway at speed before skillfully taking the machine off the ground and into the skies above the airfield.

transition flying car driving

Besides the 20-minute flight, the demonstration also included the Terrafugia Transition’s automatic conversion from flying machine to car, where its wings fold up and its Rotax 912 ULS aircraft engine switches from powering the rear-mounted propellor to driving the wheels. The process takes less than 60 seconds to complete.

The Boston-based company behind the two-seat vehicle, which has a cruising speed of 100 mph in the air and 65 mph on the ground, says it wants to combine “the safety of commercial aviation, the convenience and flexibility of a car, and the freedom of the open sky,” adding that it believes its “practical flying car” is the answer.

According to its website, the Transition has already been cleared to fly in and out of over 5,000 public airports in the US and can legally drive on public roads and highways.

The final version of the car-airplane is currently in the works and could go on sale as early as 2015. However, you’ll need $279,000 to buy one, plus a sport pilot certificate and, of course, a driver’s license. The company is also looking to build the TF-X, a four-seat plug-in hybrid car-plane capable of vertical take-off and landing.

While plenty of observers believe widespread take-up of flying cars is unlikely to ever happen, Terrafugia’s progress with its ambitious project has certainly surprised many as it seeks to create a new flying-car industry.

Product Review

The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a do-it-all Swedish army knife

Volvo laced up its smallest station wagon in hiking clothes to create the V60 Cross Country. It's a lifted, all-wheel drive wagon that laughs at icy roads while coddling its occupants. We travel to Sweden to try it out.

Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

You don't have to spend the entirety of your paycheck to become a virtual ace, at least when it comes to flight simulation. Our list of the best free flight simulators will let you unleash your inner Maverick.

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

The hottest of all Mini hatches is coming with a Batman-approved design

The Mini John Cooper Works GP concept first seen at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show will go into production in 2020, Mini has confirmed. The John Cooper Works GP is the ultimate performance version of the Mini Cooper.

Report: Amazon and General Motors may invest in electric pickup company Rivian

General Motors and Amazon may invest between $1 billion to $2 billion for minority stakes in U.S. startup Rivian, an all-electric truck company, Reuters reports. Rivian introduced the R1T pickup at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto show.

Ford F-150 recall: Fault could cause vehicle to downshift into first gear

Ford is recalling 1.48 million F-150 vehicles over a potential fault that could cause it to suddenly downshift into first gear. The automaker said it's currently aware of five accidents related to the issue.

Volkswagen’s hot-rodded T-Roc R is ready to shred its tires to confetti

Volkswagen released a teaser sketch to preview a hot-rodded SUV named T-Roc R. Insiders suggest it will be closely related to the mighty Golf R, meaning it will pack a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at about 300…

Honda’s Urban EV is shaping up to be a high-tech, high-style electric city car

Honda will travel to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to unveil a close-to-production prototype that previews an adorable, city-friendly electric car. The Urban EV will offer about 155 miles of range, and its interior is a tech lover's dream come…

Audi’s Geneva-bound Q4 E-Tron concept will give us a glimpse of the future

Audi has released a trio of teaser sketches to preview the Q4 E-Tron concept. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show, the design study takes the form of an electric SUV with a muscular design and a tech-filled interior.

Tesla’s Dog Mode lets good Samaritans know that Fido’s A-OK

Tesla's latest over-the-air software update adds two features called Sentry Mode and Dog Mode. Sentry Mode records footage and alerts the owner if someone breaks in, while Dog Mode runs the A/C so owners can safely keep their dogs in their…

Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.

General Motors cycles into a new market with its first-ever ebikes

When General Motors launched a public campaign last year to name its new ebike brand, many wondered if Bikey McBikeface might win out. But it didn't. Instead, it's called Arīv, and the two bikes are up for pre-order this week.