Terrafugia Preps For "Low-Volume Production"

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The developers of the Transition folding-wing roadable aircraft are preparing a 19,000-square-foot. facility in Woburn, Mass., for low-volume production to begin as early as late 2011. The company is currently working on construction of two of its newly redesigned vehicles, which will serve as road test and light sport aircraft certification flight test vehicles, respectively. Terrafugia is currently targeting a low- to mid-$200,000 purchase price for the Transition, and says construction of the two test prototypes will help finalize final pricing. If all goes well, the company hopes to provide "fifty skilled manufacturing jobs" at its new facility by 2013 as it ramps up toward high-volume production. But those plans have not yet been finalized and will similarly be affected by the lessons of low-volume production, according to the company.

"We can get to positive net income and be self-sustaining in a relatively short time here," said CEO/CTO Car Dietrich. Terrafugia expects to fulfill "reservations" for the aircraft within the first two to three years of production. Reports from 2008 indicated that the company had taken more than 100 orders, but Dietrich told AVweb at this year's AirVenture Oshkosh that the number is currently set near 80 orders for the airplane. Terrafugia is accepting reservations with a $10,000 refundable deposit.