Is it a car? Is it a plane? ... YES

Seven years after its initial design hit the drawing board, the Terrafugia (terra-foo-gee-ah) Transition, a compact flying car, has made its public debut at the huge AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Terrafugia, Terrafugia Transition, flying car, Wheels, Wheels magazine

Seven years after its initial design hit the drawing board, the Terrafugia (terra-FOO-gee-ah) Transition, a compact flying car, has made its public debut at the huge AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Part sedan, part private plane, the Transition is powered by a 75kW ‘flat’ four cylinder Rotax aero engine, which drives the rear wheels on the ground, and the single, rear-mounted propeller in the air.

Right on cue, the car drove to the runway apron at Oshkoch’s Wittman airfield before its automated, electro-mechanical folding wings extended to their flying position (in 60 seconds). The plane then made two faultless, 20-minute flight demonstrations.

The two seat Transition is capable of 112km/h on road and 185km/h in the air. Owners will have to have a pilot's license, and complete 20 hours of flying time to be able to fly it.

Massachusetts-based Terrafugia is aiming for an on-sale in 2015, with a sticker price of US$300,000.

A sleeker, four-seat TF-X model is also in planning, using wing rotors to allow vertical take-off, and do away with the need for an airport runway.

 

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