Feeds

Terrafugia Transition flying car redesign - first analysis

Crash protection robs lardo pilots of golf clubs

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The Terrafugia Transition - the nearest thing to a flying car expected on the civil market in the near future - has been redesigned following last year's flight tests of a proof-of-concept prototype.

The new, redesigned Transition flying car. Credit: Terrafugia

New and improved ... but it's lost 90lb of payload.

The new design includes some significant changes from the original Transition layout. The nose canard of the proof-of-concept vehicle is gone, and the tail empennage is now an open twin-boom affair rather than the former arrangement in which the twin tails and elevator emerged from a flattened rear fuselage.

The Transition proof-of-concept prototype in flight tests. Credit: Terrafugia

Out with the old. The nose canard is to go and the tail area opens up.

According to Terrafugia, the redesign was required following lessons learned during flight and road tests of the proof-of-concept design. Since then the company has applied for - and been granted - 110lb of extra weight on the design by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) while still allowing the Transition to qualify as a "light sport" aircraft. A light-sport pilot's licence is significantly easier and cheaper to obtain than a normal private ticket, and red tape is lessened too.

The firm says that the new design exploits the FAA weight extension to furnish essential road-safety kit including an "energy absorbing crush structure" in the nose and a rigid safety cage for the occupants. Aircraft don't normally feature such things, as they need to be as light as possible - and if they crash, will normally be going significantly faster than a car, tending to make the value of the protective gear moot.

Other "flying cars" have tended to get around this by qualifying not as cars but some other, less restrictive road vehicle class on the ground - for instance as a motorcycle. But the Transition will actually be a car in the eyes of the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.