Luxury Travel, CNN (June 30, 2010)
"A highway-worthy airplane moves one step closer to production with a recent weight exemption approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.
"The Transition Roadable Aircraft, developed by Massachusetts-based engineering firm Terrafugia, will be allowed a maximum takeoff weight of 1,430 pounds, the same allowance made for aircraft designed to operate on water.
"Other planes in the class, called Light Sport Aircraft, are limited to a maximum takeoff weight of 1,320 pounds...."
The extra weight is for safety features that make the aircraft (fairly) safe to drive on surface roads.
To fly one of these things, you'll need a Sport Pilot certificate: and about $194,000. Also a bit of patience. The certificate takes about 20 hours of flight training - maybe a couple weeks on the calendar. That'll help you pass the time until the first Terrafugia Transition Roadable Aircraft rolls off the assembly line: maybe 18 months from now.
If all this seems vaguely familiar, you've read your history of transportation. The airphibian did about the same thing that the Transition Roadable Aircraft does, back in the 1940s.
The two vehicles look a bit alike, too.
- "Flying Cars May Get Off the Ground This Time"
(July 20, 2008)