Terrafugia Unveils New Prototype Design


A scale model of the next version of the Terrafugia Transition roadable aircraft was unveiled Monday morning at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, and it differs considerably from the current proof-of-concept vehicle. The canard is gone, giving the front view a cleaner aerodynamic profile, and the airfoil of the wing is changed. “Our team is back in Woburn, Mass., right now working on building this airplane,” said CEO Carl Dietrich. The new version will start test flights early next year, Dietrich said. EAA President Tom Poberezny joined the news conference to announce that the airplane will fly at AirVenture 2011 for its public debut, first stopping at several cities along the way.

The prototype will be powered by a Rotax 100-hp 912S engine with a pusher prop. Specifics on the avionics were not announced but Dietrich said the cockpit will have a “touch-screen interface.” Performance goals are cruise speed in flight of about 90 knots, and a fuel burn of 5 gph. “With a full-aircraft parachute and the ability to drive in bad weather, this should be a very safe LSA,” Dietrich said. The company is re-evaluating the price point on the aircraft now, Dietrich said. They were looking at a figure of $194,000 but a new price will be announced at a later date. He said the company has 80 orders for the airplane. More images and details can be found on the company’s Web site.