Terrafugia Announces Production Plans for Its Roadable LSA
Terrafugia is planning to build its new aircraft/auto hybrid, the Transition, in a new facility in Woburn, Mass. The company has said it is setting up for low-volume production of the roadable light sport aircraft as early as late 2011. Earlier this year, the company got approval from the FAA to increase the vehicle’s maximum takeoff weight by 110 pounds over the 1,320-pound maximum takeoff weight for light sport aircraft. This was done to assist the vehicle in meeting U.S. highway safety standards; without DOT approval the Transition cannot be sold as a road-going vehicle. Terrafugia showed its new design at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh show in July, incorporating a new open fuselage bottom, allowing for a larger diameter propeller. The single horizontal stabilator has been retained from the original proof-of-concept design. Another change has been in power transmission to the road wheels; in the new design the 100-hp Rotax engine powers the rear wheels whereas the previous incarnation powered the front wheels. Terrafugia currently has two prototypes under construction for both road and flight testing. The company says they expect the Transition to be priced between $200,000 and 250,000, once it is certified and available for sale.