Likewise, taking off from the ground is as easy as pressing a button, which will launch the full wings of the plane in 30 seconds.
The Massachusetts-based company has been working on the concept of road-drivable aircraft since 2006. A vehicle that can switch from automobile to aircraft mode is what Terrafugia is aiming for over the last five years. Transition has a special petrol engine that powers both the road wheels and rear-mounted propellers. The first successful Transition flight was conducted at Plattsburgh International Airport in New York by Phil Meteer, a US Air Force colonel.
The company expects the first aircraft delivery by late 2011. A limited number of Transition units will be manufactured in Woburn, Massachusetts. Terrafugia is yet to choose another site for mass production. So far, there are more than 80 reserved aircraft units, which are valued at $16 million. Interested buyers come from diverse backgrounds, including retirees and businessmen from different areas. The price is estimated between $200,000 and $250,000.
Transition is poised to become the first vehicle with dual transportation modes. Benefits of getting a car and a plane into a single vehicle range from energy savings, emission control and easy transfer of personal belongings before and after flights. The aircraft is small enough to be parked in a house garage and travel side by side with other road vehicles.
Although takeoffs and landings should be limited at airports, nothing will prevent Transition pilots from flying their vehicles from any runway-like roads!