FAA OKs Terrafugia’s Extra Weight Request
June 17, 2010 — Terrafugia, Inc., developer of the Transition Roadable Aircraft, or “Flying Car,” announced it has received a partial exemption from the FAA to allow the vehicle a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 1,430 pounds (650 kg), or 110 lbs over the 1,320 lbs MTOW allowed for land aircraft by FAA light-sport aircraft regulations. The company states the additional weight will accommodate the structure and equipment necessary for compliance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), which are not required for non-roadable LSA.
The company originally requested a MTOW increase to 1,474 lbs, but the FAA cited established precedence in granting the exemption at 1,430 lbs - the same weight overage allowed for aircraft intended for operation on both water and land.
Equipment to comply with FMVSS includes airbags, an energy absorbing crumple zone, and a protective safety cage. The company stated such equipment “will increase safety both on the road and in the air,” and that “The FAA’s grant of an additional 110 pounds will allow a competitive useful load while providing a revolutionary level of crash safety in an LSA.”
“It is very good news for Terrafugia and for all of our customers,” said CEO Carl Dietrich.
EAA filed a letter supporting Terrafugia’s original exemption request in November 2009, stating, “EAA supports the exemption petition from Terrafugia, Inc., seeking to create a specific Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) category for roadable aircraft that are federally mandated to meet both FAA - ASTM aircraft design/safety standards and non-waiverable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) design/safety standards.”
Terrafugia will unveil computer renderings of its production prototype design at AirVenture during an opening day (Monday July 26) press conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the Terrafugia exhibit, in Booth 23 of the main aircraft display area.
“People will be very pleasantly surprised with the amount of progress - what I feel will be a technological tour de force I hope we’ll be able to show,” Dietrich added.
Initial deliveries of the Transition are expected at the end of 2011, and the company has about 70 aircraft orders so far.
Terrafugia thanked EAA, AOPA, the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA), and Women in Aviation International (WAI) for their support. To learn more about Terrafugia, visit www.terrafugia.com.