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Terrafugia plans to start deliveries by end of 2012

03-07-2012

The airplane that can drive off the airport and onto the highway could do so for customers by the end of this year, now that flight tests are well underway. The Terrafugia completed its first round of flight tests in upstate New York, setting basic aerodynamic parameters like stall and cruise speeds, as well as the center of gravity range and engine power settings. There are five more flight test phases required for the Light Sport Aircraft certification process, but Terrafugia plans to complete all those steps by the end of this summer. At the same time, the company is putting the prototype through its paces on the road so that it can gain National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approval. The extra safety features required to drive on roads meant getting an exemption from the FAA for the Terrafugia to be as much as 110 pounds over the maximum weight for an LSA aircraft. In the air, the Rotax engine powers a pusher prop at the rear of the plane; on the ground, that same engine disconnects from the propeller and drives the wheels. The wings on the $280,000 plane extend and retract at the push of a button in the cockpit in 30 seconds to complete the conversion from air to road.

http://www.gizmag.com/terrafugia-flying-car-test-flight/23141/

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