Terrafugia to shut operations in the US on transition flying car

by SpeedLux
Terrafugia flying car

There are 80 to 100 workers at the headquarters of Terrafugia in Woburn, Massachusetts, and they have been let go, and as the company’s intellectual property and further development of the Transition LSA are being moved to China by owner Zhejiang Geely Holding with plans to stop U.S. operations in the coming months.

The company was founded by Carl Dietrich in 2006 with a group of some Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates as the first practical flying car since Moulton Taylor’s Aerocar of the 1950s.

Geely Holding finished the Terrafugia acquisition in 2017 in an attempt to expand Geely’s increasing portfolio of personal transportation companies.

The recent setback for the Transition flying car happened just a few weeks after the FAA granted a special LSA airworthiness certificate for the twin-boom, pusher-prop design on January 26. The measure permitted the company to produce the flying four-wheeled craft for aviation purposes in the United States, though it was still awaiting federal approval to drive on public roads.

A Rotax 912iS Sport fuel-injected engine can propel the Transition through the air at 100 mph; Dynon SkyView avionics provide flight deck familiarity, and an airframe parachute rounds out the aviation safety package. NBC reported a projected price of around $400,000 in 2018.

Unique car-like features consist of four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, a circular steering wheel/yoke mechanism, and folding wings that permit the aircraft to tuck into a one-car garage. However, the multipurpose vehicle pays a steep price for its versatility and tips the scales at 1,800 pounds due to Department of Transportation automobile safety and environmental regulations.

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