And Really, is this not MONUMENTALLY Cool?
Haven’t we all been waiting for this since we watched The Jetsons as children?
Popular Mechanic’s has the skinny…
The Transition flying car by Terrafugia has just been granted important regulatory exemptions by the government. Will it soon be on the road—and in the air?By Sharon Weinberger | Popular Mechanics
Terrafugia, the Massachusetts-based flying car company, has proved yet again that it’s a master of navigating the complex requirements for selling a street-legal aircraft. The question now is when its creation, the Transition, will actually make it to market.
This month, the company was granted four exemptions by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the Transition, a two-seater aircraft that’s also a four-wheel car. Terrafugia will be allowed to use plastic rather than glass in its windows, for example, and motorcycle tires rather than specialized versions of car tires. These are the latest steps—and perhaps the final major hurdles—in Terrafugia’s attempt to make its flying car road-certified. Last year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA’s) granted the company a critical exemption that allowed Transition an extra 110 pounds over the maximum weight typically allowed for light sport aircraft.
Terrafugia asked for these exemptions because of the unique problems associated with making an aircraft that not only drives like a car but also meets the regulatory requirements for American automobiles. For example, using the shatter-proof glass mandated in U.S. cars would add to the Transition’s weight, which was already over the FAA’s ordinary maximum. But now that the company has secured an exemption, it can use polycarbonate windows to bring the weight down.
One must note with interest that the limiting factor has not been technological, but regulatory…