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In just a few weeks the New York Auto Show will be upon us. We’ll see lots of new technology and many new products in the EV market, I suspect, but not all exhibitors are going the practical route. Terrafugia, an American transportation research and production organization will debut “Transition,” the first mass produced airplane that converts into a street legal car.
I suppose you could make the case that the Transition, which can reach a max speed of 115mph, is actually very practical in that it’s two modes of transportation in one. It seems remarkably easy to use. To take off from the road you need at least 26′ 6″ on the sides for the wings to unfold and about 1,700 feet of road to speed up on. With the push of a button, the wings automatically lower and after 30 seconds you’re clear for takeoff.
The best part is it runs off regular unleaded gas, using about 5 gallons per hour at 105mph in the air, and getting about 35 mpg on the road. The first models are scheduled for production in late 2012. About a hundred are already reserved, and the exposure of the Auto Show will, no doubt, bring in more orders. More technical specs are available on Terrafugia‘s site. [ an update! ]