The Terrafugia Transition Flying Car has been around for more than five years. Everyone hoped it would debut in 2009, but that never happened. Now in 2011, the car is inching closer to its first real flight.
In a big step forward, the Transition has received an exemption from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that will let the car-plane travel legally on the road. This waiver lets the Transition use plastic windows instead of automotive safety glass and special tires not allowed on standard road vehicles. This is the first time the government agency has made such concessions for a roadable aircraft.
Terrafugia’s determination to see this project to fruition is admirable. The car-plane has faced repeated delays due to regulatory hurdles and supply constraints. Most companies would have thrown in the towel years ago. Despite these setbacks, Terrafugia continues to inch forward and hopes to ship the first car-plane in late 2012. [Wall Street Journal]