Feeds

Terrafugia Transition flying car redesign - first analysis

Crash protection robs lardo pilots of golf clubs

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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).

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.