Getting around traffic gridlock may be much easier in the very near future as a street-legal airplane will touch down at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) starting next week.
The Terrafugia Transition Roadable Aircraft is certain to be one of the most popular attractions at this year’s auto show, which runs April 6 to 15 in New York City.
“The Transition is a truly unique vehicle that represents an enormous step forward in how we view personal transportation and individual freedom,” says NYIAS director Alan Liebensohn. “We know it will be a huge crowd pleaser.”
Visitors to the New York automotive showcase will get an up-close view of what could be the future of personal transportation as well as see demonstrations of the wing-folding process and view video of the street-legal airplane in flight and on the road.
“The NYIAS is a venue from which we can show the first practical street-legal airplane to the world while meeting the people who will be part of its commercial success in the years to come,” says Terrafugia COO Anna Mracek Dietrich. “We selected the New York International Auto Show to continue the roll-out of the Transition because of the value this show brings in terms of exposure to future owners, investors, and partners.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration granted the craft’s developer, Terrafugia, all the certifications to allow Transition to go on sale once the certification testing process is completed. Classified as a light sport aircraft, Transition is the first combined flying-driving vehicle to receive special consideration from the Department of Transportation since the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards came into being in the 1970s.
The Terrafugia Transition concept prototype will make its debut at the 2012 New York International Auto Show.
The craft underwent extensive analysis and simulated crash testing in order to meet all applicable safety standards used on conventional automobiles. The Transition is the only light airplane to have undergone this high level of crash safety design and analysis. It is also the first to incorporate automotive safety features such as a purpose-built energy absorbing crumple zones, a rigid carbon fiber occupant safety cage and automotive-style driver and passenger airbags.
The company has not announced when the Transition Roadable Aircraft will go on sale, but expects the “anticipated first delivery date to (be in) late 2012,” according to Carl Dietrich, CEO of Terrafugia.