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Plane Driven converts Glasair into roadable aircraft


Add one more player to the niche market of “roadable aircraft” designed to both fly and drive on highways. Plane Driven showed off its newest prototype, the PD-2, at Oshkosh last week. It’s a roughly $60,000 conversion kit for the Glasair Sportsman that adds a small 50-horsepower engine to drive the rear wheel on the conventional-gear plane. Unlike the Terrafugia, which uses the same engine in flight and on the road, the PD-2 has separate engines and a manual conversion process that involves folding back the wings and sliding the drive unit into place at the back of the aircraft. During flight tests, the Sportsman, which is limited to 2 passengers instead of four, cruised at 140 mph and had a range of about 475 miles. On the road, the PD-2 can cruise at up to 70 mph with a 200-mile range. Plane Driven is not taking orders yet, but plans to in the near future. The company says the kit can’t be fitted to existing Glasairs, only newly built aircraft kits with a few special modifications needed to accommodate the drive unit.