8:42 PM

Pushing Forward
at Terrafugia

By far, one of the most exciting aviation projects out there today is the Terrafugia Tranasition, a “roadable airplane” being developed by a group of MIT graduate students. If you scour the Internets, you can still find the occasional post offering skepticism about the chance this group has for success. These naysayers have never meet Team Terrafugia like I did back in Cheese Country USA in July, '06, because if they had, it would be hard not to support this project.

There have been some positive project developments lately...here's a taste:

• Their 2009 production slots are sold out, and projected 2010 deliveries are beginning to be filled. You can reserve your Transition™ airframe number today by following the deposit reservation instructions found here.

• Terrafugia closed its first round of external financing on December 21, 2006, generating funding that will be used for further development of the Transition design and prototype. This event marked a significant milestone for the Terrafugia Team.

• 2007 Events – Terrafugia recently represented entrepreneurship in the United States at the Powerful Ideas Summit, held at the end of last month in Valencia, Spain. Upcoming events include the FAA Airports Division, Southwest Region in Texas in March and Northwest Mountain Region Annual Conferences in Seattle in April, and, of course, EAA AirVenture the last week of July 2007 in Oshkosh, WI. They're also participating in the SAE AeroTech Congress and Exhibition this September in Los Angeles, CA.
For anyone who still thinks “Team Terrafugia” is just a bunch of dreamers without the chops to complete their mission, I ask you to consider their resumes before reconsidering that opinion:
Carl Dietrich: CEO, CTO – Carl received both his SB and SM degrees from the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, winning all four out of four design competitions available to him in the process, and will receive his PhD from MIT in Aeronautics and Astronautics. He also holds a private pilot certificate.

Anna Mracek Dietrich: COO – Anna received her SM degree from MIT in Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as her SB from the same department, with memberships in Sigma Gamma Tau and Tau Beta Pi honor societies. Anna has worked at Boeing Phantom Works in Advanced Combat Aircraft and at GE Aviation, and also holds her private pilot certificate.

Samuel Schweighart, Ph.D.: VP Engineering, Chief Engineer
– Samuel received his SM and PhD from MIT in Aeronautics and Astronautics, and his BS with highest honors in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois.

Alex Min: VP Sales and Marketing – Alex is currently an MBA candidate at the MIT Sloan School of Management, focusing on entrepreneurship and marketing. Prior to MIT, Alex served in the US Marine Corps as an attack helicopter pilot. Alex received his SB in Art and Design from MIT. Alex holds commercial pilot certificates with instrument ratings for single engine land fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.

Arun Prakash: VP Business Development
– Arun is currently an MBA candidate at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Prior to MIT, Arun received his MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University and his BS in Aerospace Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology. Arun also holds a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating.

Milo Mracek: Senior Engineer – Milo spent 37 years at the McDonnell Douglas Corporation, serving as Chief of Design Engineering and making significant contributions to the development of fighter aircraft, space programs, and missile systems including the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Space Shuttle Orbiter, F-4, B-52, and the Harpoon missile programs. Milo is lead engineer on the design of the TransitionT wing folding mechanism.

David Bentley: Senior Engineer – David spent 19 years at the McDonnell Douglas Corporation serving as a senior design engineer on such projects as the DC-10, the Space Shuttle Orbiter, and various guided missile and satellite systems. He is lead engineer on the design of the Transition power train system.

Andrew Heafitz: Senior Engineer – Andrew received his SB and SM degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, and he was also a previous recipient of the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize. Andrew is the lead engineer on the design of the TransitionT fuselage structure and suspension systems.
This group will succeed at many things in life, and delivering the Transition will be one of their finest accomplishments. Their outstanding resumes and enormous intelligence are only overshadowed by their incredible drive to see this project though to the end.

If you would like to arrange for someone from Terrafugia to speak at your meeting or event, please let them know by emailing here.

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