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Car Tech Video: Terrafugia Transition takes flight

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Car Tech Video: Terrafugia Transition takes flight

2:04 /

The Terrafugia Transition, a car that can transition to an airplane, debuts at the 2012 New York auto show.

Generating a lot of interest of the 2012 New York International Auto Show is this, the Terrafugia Transition. Now a lot of you have read stories about this, maybe seen Youtube videos of it flying around. This is what you probably think of as a flying car but Terrafugia says no. This is really a Roadable Aircraft. The idea is you can drive this from your home to a local airport, take off, fly around a bit, land again and drive it back home. Let's go and see what makes it work. Now the engine is back here. It powers this prop obviously when it's in flight. That prop has carbon fiber shaft that goes in the engine. The engine is 100 horsepower (Rotech?) style and there's also a power transition feature that the pilot can operate. Shifting the power from this prop to the wheels when you wanna go to the ground. These wheels are down here off of the swallow style rear air frame. Those are run by a pulley that runs into the engine. Top speed on the road is about 65 miles per hour. In the air 105 miles an hour. Despite how cool you might think this is, not many people are gonna find a use for this thing. It's really on the level of amphibious car. About 100 people have actually signed up to buy one and that's probably as many as can really use it because it's not something you're gonna drive to the airport, fly long distances then drive really far again and take long trips back and forth like that. In fact Terrafugia estimates that most people probably only drive it about 15% of the time and fly it 85% of the time. Think of it as an airplane that you don't have to keep at the airport. You can actually drive it home. Although, you won't wanna drive it too far home because at its top speed and considering this design, it's probably not gonna feel really safe on the freeway. You probably wanna keep it on lower speed roads 45, 40 miles an hour top speed. I'm Wayne Cunningham looking at this Terrafugia transition of the 2012 New York International Auto Show.

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