On March 5th, 2009, Terrafugia launched its first test flight of its flying car model Transition. It was successful, and the company gained praise and upbeat response from analysts and investors.
Founded by MIT graduates in 2006, Terrafugia is the only registered automobile manufacturer in the state of Massachusetts. After the proof of concept vehicle was made and successfully operated in early 2009, Terrafugia started receiving several orders for the vehicle that was set to be produced sometime in or around 2011.
By September 2009, Terrafugia had received around 70 orders for the flying car which has a price tag of $194,000. The Transition seats 2 including the driver/pilot and has room for a reasonable amount of luggage. It is designed to fit in most American garages, and its wings fold to help make that possible. On the road, it is about 19 feet long, almost 7 feet in height and 80 inches wide. Weighing in at around 1320 pounds, it exceeds the maximum limit of 1200 pounds for light aircrafts, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has exempted the Transition from this limit and is hence categorized as a light aircraft.
The vehicle runs on unleaded motor gasoline for road and air travel so the idea is you drive from your home to an airport and take off just like that. The vehicle has a 100 hp (75 KW) powerplant giving it a very reasonable 30 mpg on the road and about 5 US gallons per flight hour. Its standard flight cruising speed is about 115 mph (185 kmph) and can go for about 400 nmi (460miles, 740 km) in air on a full tank.
It is certified by the FAA and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) in the USA. It is currently available for booking at its list price of $194,000 and deliveries are expected by 2011.