Terrafugia's Transition Makes Maiden Flight
Terrafugia's Transition marked its first flight on March 23 in Plattsburgh, New York.
April 2, 2012 - Terrafugia announced Monday morning that the production prototype Transition roadable aircraft made its maiden flight on March 23 at the Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, New York. The same vehicle, which earlier conducted initial drive and conversion testing, qualifies as a light-sport aircraft. The company calls the flight "a significant step" toward bringing the Transition to market, which is expected to occur "within the next year."
The eight-minute first flight reached an altitude of 1,400 feet AGL during a complete circuit in the traffic pattern. Earlier in the week the Transition performed extensive ground-testing, including a short runway hop. The first flight demonstrated the controllability and safe operational characteristics of the aircraft, according to the company. Terrafugia plans six phases of flight testing to continue development and demonstrate compliance to LSA standards.
"It's a remarkable vehicle both on the road and, now, in the air," remarked Terrafugia Chief Test Pilot Col. Phil Meeter (USAF Retired). "When I drove it into the shop, literally from the road through the garage door, I was amazed that I had just flown it at Plattsburgh a few days before. I can't wait for the upcoming flight tests and the chance to 'wring it out,' demonstrating how safe and enjoyable the Transition is to fly."
Terrafugia's production prototype follows the successful flight and testing of the company's proof of concept in 2009.
"The first flight of the Transition production prototype is a major milestone for Terrafugia," said Terrafugia CEO/CTO and co-founder Carl Dietrich. "With this flight, the team demonstrated an ability to accomplish what had been called an impossible dream. We look forward to continuing to show that the challenges of bringing a practical street legal airplane to market can be overcome. This is a very exciting time for Terrafugia. We are on our way up - literally and figuratively!"
The aviation world has followed the Transition's development since the first prototype appeared at AirVenture Oshkosh 2008. This week (April 6-15) it will get wider exposure as the Transition makes its auto show debut at the New York International Auto Show in New York City. For more on the Transition, click here.