Headquarters: Woburn, MA. The company was acquired in 2017 by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the Chinese automotive giant that owns Volvo and Lotus.
What: The Transition’s been in development since 2006, when Terrafugia was launched by MIT grads.
This folding-wing, two-seat roadable aircraft is powered by the Rotax 912ULS piston engine. Designed to fly like a typical Light Sport Aircraft category airplane, the Transition can convert between drive and flight modes in less than a minute. It meets all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and runs on automotive gas. In the air (maximum altitude 10,000 feet), the Transition will have a cruise range of 400 miles with top speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
The company is also developing a four-seater Transition TF-2 electric flying taxi that will travel at speeds of up to 200 mph. A prototype pod can be attached to a coachlike vehicle that transports the pod to a launch pad where it attaches it to a flying vehicle, without passengers having to exit the pod. A pilot will be on board as a safety precaution.
While any licensed driver could conceivably drive the Transition on roadways, flying it will require a Sport Pilot Certificate, which can be earned in 20 hours of flight training.
When: First deliveries expected by 2019.