Terrafugia, Inc. - Driven to Fly™

 

The Transition® Street Legal Airplane

 

eNewsletter #22: April 7, 2011

Thank you for your continued interest in Terrafugia. Activity continues to accelerate as we bring the Transition Street Legal Airplane to the market. We hope you enjoy reading about some of the excitement below. You can also follow us on Facebook to get even more up-to-date information on what's going on. And, as always, we welcome inquiries through either sales@terrafugia.com or info@terrafugia.com.

Thanks again,
~ The Terrafugia Team

 

 

 

 

Sun N Fun 2011

As many of you have probably heard, this year’s Sun N Fun show had a good bit of excitement mid-week from an F1 tornado.  Terrafugia was fortunate in that the Proof of Concept had stayed in Boston to allow the show display to be focused on the production design and was thus unharmed.  While the team and the display were all thoroughly soaked and a bit shaken up, no significant damage was sustained.  We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to all those that weren’t so fortunate as well as our thanks to the Sun N Fun team that got the grounds ready to open again bright and early Friday morning. 

Before the storm, Terrafugia's Anna Dietrich joined Dr. Peggy Chabrian, President of Women in Aviation International on Sun N Fun radio. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were great days with lots of sunshine and good connections.  One of the highlights of the week was Ed Sweeney flying his original Aerocar from Kissimee to Lakeland on Saturday.  The Terrafugia team members on site, as well as the Sun N Fun patrons fortunate enough to see it parked near the vintage aircraft area, were thrilled to have the chance to see Molt Taylor’s legacy up close.  Thanks, Ed!  And thanks to all of you that came by to say hello at the show.

 

Production Prototype Construction Update

Construction of the first two next-generation Transition® production prototypes is now well underway. Our team is not only building the pair of aircraft but also setting up for low volume production by simultaneously creating custom tooling and assembly procedures. While we have had to juggle some supplier issues and early lessons-learned -- this is prototyping, after all! -- thus far we have been very pleased with the result of the design optimization and CAD detail that has gone into the next generation design. In addition to building the two production prototypes, we are creating the precision CNC-carved tooling that will be used in initial production.

With the composite structures complete, component installation continues as the vehicles prepare for initial testing. If everything continues to remain on schedule, at least one of these vehicles will have its public debut at Oshkosh this July.

Photos: Rotax 912; door frame ready for curing; driver side pedals

 

Testing Program Preview
As mentioned above, Terrafugia is in the process of building two production prototype Transitions. We expect these two vehicles to be completed early this summer, at which point they will begin an extensive battery of testing. Component load testing, as well as flying and driving tests, will be done to ensure that the design is ready for larger scale production. It is extremely common for unknowns to arise during this sort of rigorous testing program as the purpose is to find any potential problems before products are put into production or released to customers. In preparation for production and first delivery, we plan to conduct a variety of very harsh tests, much more severe than would be encountered in normal operation. While extensive analysis is done prior to any physical testing, and risk is mitigated by incremental testing, if something unexpected does occur the production program will be suspended until a comprehensive solution is found and implemented. Since by definition we can’t predict what unknowns might occur, it is impossible to predict exactly when production will begin. However, if no significant issues are encountered and everything goes smoothly, we could be in a position to deliver our first Transition® as early as the end of this year. This is an exciting time in the development process, and we all look forward to the result: a proven “flying car” that is ready for production and first customer deliveries! Stay tuned for updates on the testing program as they become available.

 

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