Terrafugia Transition Receives SLSA Airworthiness Certificate


Terrafugia announced on Tuesday that it has obtained a Special Light-Sport Aircraft (SLSA) airworthiness certificate from the FAA for its Transition roadable aircraft. While designed to meet both FAA and National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety standards, the initial version of the Transition is a flight-only model. Terrafugia says intends to produce and sell the flight-only version with the goal of having the vehicle both sky- and road-legal by 2022.

“We are excited to have reached our goal of an airworthiness certificate for the initial version,” said Kevin Colburn, Terrafugia’s vice president and general manager. “This is a major accomplishment that builds momentum in executing our mission to deliver the world’s first practical flying car.”

The two-seat Terrafugia Transition is equipped with a Dynon Skyview avionics package and powered by the Rotax 912iS Sport engine, which is capable of running on either premium gasoline or 100LL. Features include a whole-airframe parachute, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, rigid carbon fiber safety cage and folding wings. In the air, the Transition has a top speed of 100 MPH, range of 400 miles and useful load of 500 pounds. Ground performance numbers have not yet been published.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. This is obviously extremely cool and interesting and I’d love to fly/drive one but I don’t see the advantage over a 172 and an Uber.

    • Agree. Simply too many engineering compromises- it dices! Slices! makes coffee!, and doesn’t do anything well. It will take a dramatic breakthrough in propulsion and energy storage (weight and efficiency) for something like this to be successful.

  2. I’m not sure what the use case for this is. I admire the effort, but I can’t think of a use for it that isn’t contrived. Maybe a traveling Sears Roebuck salesman?

    I can see maybe someone using it to travel around small islands say in the Bahamas where there aren’t any rental cars, or maybe in Africa. Not sure there’s a market there for more than a handful of planes though.

  3. FAA! Broaden the SP fleet NOW! Another near half million dollar overweight pig gets an FAA waiver to be flown by sport pilots with lotsa cash and influence involved. Isn’t it about time for the FAA to NEXT MONTH just wave the wand and whether through a simple MTOW change to 2200 pounds and Vs of 50 or their forever-discussed formula incorporating Vh, Vs, complexity, MTOW, #of seats, etc etc let us poor peasants have something other than 70 year old classics or foreign composites to fly?
    Allow 150/152, Tomahawk, Colt, Cherokee, Citabria/Aurora etc …ALL safer and with higher fuel capacity and useful load than most now crippling the movement.

  4. Seems to me to be a compromised airplane and a compromised car, which makes neither a good airplane nor a good car. I’d rather fly a real airplane and rent a car or Uber. This thing will never ‘fly’.

  5. Yeah, like I would drive this thing on New England roads and bridges (shake it apart in 10 sec.). Who do you call when it breaks, AAA or an A&P?

  6. Park it in a parking lot for one hour. $15,000 in repairs for shopping cart dings.

    Or five minutes on 10th Avenue in NY City.

    Sorry, guys – this idea won’t fly.

  7. They’ll have to use the “small manufacturer” exemptions for safety and emissions, and the thing won’t be street legal with even a drop of lead in the tank. Another toy, like the Icon.

  8. In this day of sky high insurance rates, where do you insure this thing? Your usual auto insurers probably wouldn’t touch it, and aircraft underwriters want no part of a “plane” driving on the freeway.

  9. Pilots have an almost universal disdain for the CONCEPT of flying cars–they’ve been “proposed” and “right around the corner” for 3/4 of a century.

    At least, these aren’t being developed by misinformed government bureaucrats who would FORCE them on us because THEY think they know better (consider all of the Communist car failures produced by government factories. I seriously would like to see who they polled for this market, and how many they think they will sell.