Flying car gets road approval from NHTSA
Terrafugia’s car/plane vehicle called the Transition, has received approval from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) clearing the way for delivery to customers sometime next year. Last year it received approval to fly as a “light sport aircraft” from the Federal Aviation Administration, but not before being given a special exemption to fly 110 pounds heavier than other’s in its class. This time around it had to convince the NHTSA to allow a special exemption for its Plexiglas windows and aircraft landing capable tires.
The Transition is able to move between the sky and road by making use of push-button retractable wings that narrow the plane enough to allow it to fit on standard roads. In its current configuration, the Transition is 19 feet 9 inches long with a wingspan of 26 feet 6 inches wide and has a height of 78 inches in flying mode; with wings folded however, it’s just 90 inches wide, 18 feet 9 inches long and of course a little taller at 80 inches. It has room for a pilot and one passenger and also has airbags and utilizes an energy absorbing crumple zone similar to that used in many cars. Also, like race cars, it has a carbon fiber safety cage in case of rollovers.