One of the first flying car concepts that emerged almost a decade ago, the Terrafugia Transition ,car seemed like it had all but disappeared into oblivion. However, now Terrafugia has announced that they are ready to put the Transition into production, with sales for set to start in 2019. They have also assured that the time spent waiting for the Transition to materialize will be well worth it with significant improvements made to the concepts design. Aside from which the company has also said that the Transition will receive a new hybrid powertrain, although the company is yet to mention what the output of the new powertrain is likely to be. However, they have said previously that the Terrafugio will have an airborne range of 650 kms and a top-speed of 160 kmph from the stand-alone Rotax internal-combustion engine.
The company also said that the Terrafugia Transition will have a boost option on the throttle that will provide a quick burst of speed in flight mode. Internally, the Transition will also feature an improved interior, parachute system, upgraded seatbelts and airbags, and three rearview cameras in road-going mode. Now there are two ways to look at the Transition, you could think of it as a car with wing, but, Terrafugia want you think of the Transition as more of a road going aeroplane. Mostly because you need a pilot license to fly one. This makes the Transition easier to imagine considering the contrast between the Transition and what companies like Uber have envisioned for their flying cars. The latter involves fleets of flying cars taking to the airways in and around cities, and will probably require some sort of air traffic control, a rather costly agenda.
In case you’re wondering who's footing the bill for Terrafugia’s apparently frivolous decade of R&D, the company was bought last year by Chinese automotive giant Geely, which also own Volvo. Allowing them to get prime-route access to fund and additional engineering resources.
The big question then remains, as to whether the past few decades of failed attempts will result in an actual flying car, the kind that you can just fly out of your garage. . From startups like Terrafugia, Google co-founder Larry Page’s Kitty Hawk and even established firms like Uber, Airbus, and Rolls-Royce everyone seems to want to put a car in the air. We will just have to wait to find out, by the looks of it we won't have to wait long.