Phase 1 Flight Test Video Clips: The Terrafugia Transition:
Six years after the initial announcement that Terrafugia, Inc. would develop a "roadable airplane," the Transition has completed the first phase of flight testing. The flight testing, carried out at Plattsburgh International Airport in northern New York State, assessed the light sport aircraft's full performance envelope. The Transition prototype was reported to perform "exceptionally well," allowing the testing to be carried out quickly.
The Terrafugia Transition is classified as a light sport aircraft, and is also designed to meet National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards. In addition to working as a fine aircraft, the Transition can be legally driven on the road by folding the wings after landing.
A light sport aircraft is defined by the United States Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) as a fixed-wing airplane seating at most two people, with a maximum take-off weight of 1,320 lbs (600 kg), a maximum speed in level flight of 138 mph (222 km/h), a stall speed under 51 mph (82 km/h), and having a single engine and an unpressurized cockpit. The light sport category is nicely wedged between conventional light planes and ultralight planes (weighing less than 254 lbs (115 kg) empty weight and capable of flying no faster than 63 mph (101 kph), providing the opportunity for aviation enthusiasts to fly in a reasonably capable aircraft without requiring full noncommercial training and medical clearance.