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Terrafugia Transition "Flying Car" Receives Go-Ahead from FAA

Car News
July 14 , 2010

A Terrafugia Transition on the runway and ready for takeoff

The Terrafugia Transition, a light aircraft that can convert into a street-legal automobile, has been granted a special exemption by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), allowing for a maximum takeoff weight of 1,430 lbs. The standard weight limit for planes of the Transition's size is ordinarily 1,310 lbs.; however, the additional weight will be used to accommodate federally-required motor vehicle safety features such as airbags, a crumple zone, and a protective safety cage.

Classified as a Light Sport Aircraft by the FAA, the Terrafugia Transition necessitates a Sport Pilot certificate, which can be obtained after just 20 hours of observed flying time. When not in the air, the two-seater Transition also functions as a completely road-safe (and legal) car, capable of traveling at ordinary highway speeds and achieving a respectable 30 miles per gallon. Electrically-powered foldable wings allow the unique vehicle to fit into tight spaces, including crowded gas stations and standard home garages. The Transition, which will cost prospective owners roughly $194,000, is scheduled to see a commercial release in late 2011.

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