6:08 PM

Exceptional minds come
up with amazing ideas

There have been attempts to build a flying car over the years, but none have succeeded in a mass market situation. But a group of young, very bright and highly motivated private pilots plan to change that with…the Transition:

The Transition is a Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) designed to make general aviation more practical for personal transportation. This increased practicality is accomplished by enabling the promise of a true integrated roadable aircraft at an economically compelling price. The Transition will be capable of driving at normal highway speeds, flying at speeds that approach the light sport aircraft limit, and parking in a standard garage. The freedom enabled by this aircraft will fundamentally increase the personal mobility of its owners while simultaneously improving the safety and practicality of GA travel.
Their company – Terrafugia – is the creation of these three graduates of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and incorporated in 2006:

Carl Dietrich (CEO, CTO): In 2000, shortly after patenting a new type of rocket he invented as an undergraduate, Carl was given one of only 16 commendations ever awarded "for extraordinary accomplishment" by young alumni of the department. Carl also holds his private pilot certificate.

Anna Mracek (COO, VP Business Development): Anna has spent time at both Boeing Phantom Works in Advanced Combat Aircraft and Exploration in St. Louis and at GE Aviation in Boston. She also holds her private pilot certificate.

Dr. Samuel Schweighart, Ph.D. (VP Engineering, Chief Engineer) received his Ph.D. from the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and currently is a senior member of the technical staff at Draper Laboratories in Cambridge, MA. In addition to being a paramedic, Sam also holds a private pilot certificate.

These people are serious about this too…and are taking ORDERS at this year’s Airventure:
Terrafugia will be part of the greatest aviation event of the year in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on July 24-31, 2006. Come by our booth for a chance to meet the team and our vehicle. Place your order at the show and lock in Oshkosh-only special pricing.
Specs on the Transition look interesting (all numbers are preliminary until delivery of production vehicle):

GTOW: 1320 lbs.
Max Payload: 430 lbs.
Fuel Consumption (75% power): 4 GPH
Cruise Speed (75% power): 120 mph
Gas Mileage: 30mpg (air), 40mpg (hwy), 30mpg (city)
Minimum Takeoff Distance ~ 1500 feet

Want to learn more? Here is a very cool animation showing how the wings fold up, and the Terrefugia website can be found here.

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