Terrafugia Flying Car Gets FAA Approval

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by BeRad, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. BeRad

    BeRad Filing Flight Plan

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  2. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Still tits on a Boar Hog.
     
  3. wbarnhill

    wbarnhill Final Approach

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    For the price, I'd rather buy a used plane and a new car and still get better performance on land and in the air as well as have money left over.

    I also can't imagine what insurance rates would be... Or how bad it would be if you got in a fender bender while driving it.
     
  4. ron22

    ron22 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I am to lazy to read there web site.What about DOT approval?
    They went with 4 wheels so it is a car and I would think need crash testing.
     
  5. Steve

    Steve En-Route

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    Spike, how insensitive!!!

    I recommend diversity training immediately! :wink2:

     
  6. JeffDG

    JeffDG Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Let's be clear...

    The car has not been issued an airworthiness certificate yet.

    They received an exemption from the LSA weight limit to let them bump up to the same as a LSA float plane goes to...so an extra 110 pounds or so, while still getting it in as an LSA.
     
  7. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    If you can identify any boar hogs whose sensibilities have been harmed, and who are capable of cogent conversation, I'll consider discussing it with them.

    Anyone else can pound sand.
     
  8. tdager

    tdager En-Route

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    Thus it will not NEED an airworthiness certificate! :wink2:
     
  9. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think Javelina might be a better animal, but same-same.
     
  10. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I hope they succeed, so perhaps there will be some young new pilots who can do something other than winsomely yearn after ratty old Piper Cubs.
     
  11. BeRad

    BeRad Filing Flight Plan

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    Do you fly one of those small pilot planes?
     
  12. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Odd-looking contraption. I wonder how it performs in the air. I also wonder why they didn't make it a three-wheeler and call it a motorcycle. You think there would be advantages from both the weight and regulatory standpoints if they went that way.

    But even as a car, I don't think getting the DOT approval would be that big a deal. I think there's a category for "Limited Use Automobiles" or some such thing, with less stringent safety requirements. I know New York State has such a category for registration purposes. I also wouldn't be too surprised if the company could wring some exemptions from DOT for something as specialized as this.

    Given that the TF appears to have a max speed of 65 mph on the ground, and given that even the most minor accident would likely cost thousands upon thousands of dollars to fix, I don't think the company figures that people will be using it as a primary car. I know I would be afraid to drive it on the LIE, for example, or even to park it on the street in most places.

    There's also the question of whether all repairs must be performed by an FAA certificated Mechanic or Repairman-LSA. Where does the car end and the airplane begin? I guess the engine that drives the wheels would belong to the "car" part, and the one that drives the prop would belong to the "airplane" part. But what about the airframe, electrical system, and other common parts?

    If they're marketing it to Sport Pilots, that would also limit its usefulness. Someone couldn't use it, for example, to fly somewhere for a business trip, and then drive the last leg. The SP Rule prohibits flying for any business-related purpose. I don't think there's any exception when the flying is "incidental" to that purpose, as there is with PP. To the best of my knowledge, an SP can't even fly to commute to work unless he's a CFI-LS flying to an airport to conduct instruction.

    In short, I can't help but think there are more arguments against owning something like the TF than there are arguments in favor of it. I guess someone who lives a few miles from a small airport, but who doesn't want to pay for a hangar, could park it in their own garage or carport and drive to the airport when they want to fly, and it would be somewhat more convenient than trailering it. But other than that, I'm hard-pressed to find any practical advantage.

    -Rich
     
  13. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Now offering reverse discounts.
    Good thoughts, Rich. Being in the auto salvage business where I supply parts for collision and mechanical repair, I also am curious as to how repairs would be handled and what documentation / certification is needed.

    But perhaps this is really a "proof of concept" stepping stone item. Where the TF manufacturer is more demonstrating that such a vehicle can be created, flown, certified, and sold to the public. I read that they have 70 pre-orders on the books, but likely this is more for the novelty of the craft than practicality.

    If this the proof of concept, it could be very interesting to see what TF 2.0 or a competitor's design looks like and performs.
     
  14. c170bm

    c170bm Filing Flight Plan

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    Then how can i see a photo of it flying with a Cessna[/B]
     
  15. c170bm

    c170bm Filing Flight Plan

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    the car/plane is shown flying with a cessna HAS TO HAVE SOME SORT OF C of A ??????
     
  16. RMCN172RG

    RMCN172RG Pattern Altitude

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    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  17. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I guess anything that flies is a good thing, but that is just pure ugliness. :rolleyes2:
     
  18. JeffDG

    JeffDG Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Experimental (and not the fun kind of Amateur Built) at this point...they'd need something more normal to sell it to people.

    OK...went and looked it up...Experimental R&D
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  19. bsdunek

    bsdunek Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There have been flying cars proposed over the last 60+ years. It's a hard market to crack. The cost is high, the government regulation is difficult and getting worse. The Molt Taylor Aerocar didn't have to put up with DOT and EPA regulation, and it worked pretty good. Never went anywhere - partly because of financing.

    I think for the price (about $200,000), I could buy an older plane that meets LSA rules and have enough money leftover for my hanger and car rental for a few years, and have a lot less of the headachs that others have mentioned. Just IMHO.
     
  20. Trapper John

    Trapper John Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Moult Taylor spent a lot of years trying to get the Aerocar into production and never could get enough orders to do it.

    Good luck to these guys, but if history is any indication, it's going to be a big uphill climb.
     
  21. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I dunno, might be a good thing where hangars are scarce and hangar fees high. You can park it in your garage and don't have to build it or put it together every time you want to use it. But I think they'll have to sell a lot to recoup the R&D costs. I hope it works out. More new airplanes with more pilots flying them is always a good thing.
     
  22. Joe B

    Joe B Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Terrafugia announced that they are going to unveil the blueprints of their production prototype at Oshkosh. Methinks they have a ways to go yet.
     
  23. Dale Young

    Dale Young Line Up and Wait

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    Silly idea In my opinion. Another attempt at making flight available to everyone, But I don't think that just anyone should fly. Some people just should'nt.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  24. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Pattern Altitude

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    Moot point. On a 200K price of entry, even people who SHOULD, couldn't.

    The problem is not people who have more [air]sense than money, it's the ones who have more money than sense. They're the ones giving GA a bad name, not the saps watching airplanes fly as they sit recreation-budgetless after the rent is paid on the 1st.

    The point of these contraptions is to exercise our imagination, not break economic models. It's not gonna go anywhere we all know that; I wouldn't drive my uber expensive airplane around so joe bob can rear end the hell out of it. And I wouldn't attempt to fly my car considering the kind of daily driver I want out of it. All that said, it's still a cool little idea....
     
  25. RMCN172RG

    RMCN172RG Pattern Altitude

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    I think there is a small market for people who fit into a couple of specific models.

    First money to burn on the neatest toys.

    Live near an airport with extra garage space so the commute is a short hop from home to the home airport.

    I could see that concept making a client visit with flying as a viable option in the 60-90 minute car ride range. Where now it's just quicker and easier to drive it. But not for $190,000.
     
  26. JeffDG

    JeffDG Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I can also see this working if you live near a grass strip, work near another airport type of thing...flying over the heads of the suckers stuck in traffic has some appeal.

    If this works, there will be other market entrants, and the price will come down. Will it come down enough, maybe, maybe not.
     
  27. EppyGA

    EppyGA Final Approach

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    Can't you just do that with a $40k 172 or lesser 152 and a $1k beater at the airport?

    I actually think it could be a cool product but the practicality is in question. When you land and fold the wings and drive to work won't you need to park it way out in left field so no one parks next to you and dings it in some way, shape or form? Will it attract vandals who just want to screw with the rich guy/gal?
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010