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Did the Terrafugia Flying Car Ever Get Off the Ground?

Considering it’s the year 2020 and we have everything from electric cars to global pandemics, it’s interesting to think that flying cars aren’t more prevalent. After all, a car that can fly at a moment’s notice and get you out of ugly traffic situations or possibly even hover around like the cars in the Jetsons sounds very fitting for the time period we’re in. But considering the current state of affairs, we would be surprised if companies like Terrafugia, which has been working on flying cars for years, will ever really get off the ground.

The Terrafugia Transition sounds like it has a lot of promise

In case you’re not familiar with Terrafugia, it’s a company that makes flying cars called the “Transition” and the “TF-2.” And in case you’re not familiar with either of those vehicles, then just know that the Transition is a cartoon-looking flying car that’s approved to be driven on the road and flown in the skies, while the TF-2 is an autonomous flying car that can fit four passengers, although that one is still in concept form.

Videos and information for the Terrafugia Transition popped up around the Internet in the early 2010s and while it looked promising and sounded like it was on the verge of being the best thing since Volkswagen Vanagon, the chatter about it seemingly stopped. The most recent stories that we could find about it were from late 2018 when outlets like CNET and NBC were reporting about it finally debuting in 2019. However, it’s been radio silence ever since.

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terrafugia transition
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 05: The Terrafugia Transition is introduced at the 2012 New York International Auto Show on April 5, 2012 in New York City. The Transition is the first of its kind: it is simultaneously able to perform as an aircraft or a street-legal vehicle. The New York International Auto Show features nearly 1,000 brand new vehicles from all auto industry sectors and is open to the public April 6-15. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

What exactly is the Terrafugia Transition?

The Terrafugia Transition is an automobile-plane hybrid that has four wheels, two wings, and a cockpit-like any other normal plane. What you won’t find are huge turbine engines attached to those wings, but the Transition is powered by a four-cylinder hybrid-electric engine and a rear-mounted propellor that are able to propel the car-plane to up to 100 miles per hour and at a maximum altitude of 9,000 feet. It’s flying range is limited to 400 miles, which is good enough for short stints in the air.

According to Terrafugia, the Transition is able to shift from car mode to airplane mode in less than a minute. However, you still need a proper runway to get a good lift-off, so don’t expect to escape that crazy Friday-night traffic at a moment’s notice. As you might expect, you would need to acquire a pilot’s license to fly it as well.

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There’s no signs of the Transition actually getting off the ground

As great as it all sounds, the sad part is that there aren’t any signs that Terrafugia will be releasing the Transition any time soon, or possible at all. Although the company was purchased in 2017 by Geely, the same Chinese corporation that owns Volvo and Lotus, there hasn’t been any news of its products being ready for lift-off. We’ll see what the future holds, but it looks like our “Jetsons” dream of actual flying cars will be held off for a while longer.