July 6, 2011

Special Exemptions Granted For Terrafugia’s Flying Car

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has granted special exemptions for Terrafugia's Transition® flying car to be legally driven on roads.

The Transition will be required to use tires appropriately rated for highway speeds and vehicle weight, which are not normally permitted for use on multi-purpose vehicles. 

The flying car is also allowed to have its own type of windscreen, however traditional laminated automotive safety glass could fracture in a way that it obscures the vision of the pilot in the event of a bird impact.

Instead, the vehicle will use polycarbonate materials, which the company says is just as protective but will not shatter.

NHTSA said in its statement: "We further conclude that the granting of an exemption from these requirements would be in the public interest and consistent with the objectives of traffic safety."

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave the initial exemption for the flying car last summer.

The company said it will carry out a testing program before the vehicle starts shipping.  It is planning extensive analysis and crash testing to make sure it reaches safety standards.

The vehicle could be available as early as 2012 and will cost around $250,000.

Terrafugia is a small aerospace company founded by pilot/engineers from MIT and supported by a world-class network of advisors and private investors.


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