Recently, I visited three brand-new LSA developments. All are American. All are propelled by young engineers and enthusiasts. All are remarkably sophisticated. All companies have been successful at raising funds. And, perhaps most notably, all projects were started specifically because of the emergence of the Light-Sport Aircraft rule. *** All three are emphatically not reconfigured European microlights or vintage American designs…not that I have any objection to such aircraft. I am simply encouraged by fresh new designs from fresh young faces. Aviation needs that! *** My first example (others soon) is the Terrafugia Transition. Called a “roadable aircraft” rather than a “flying car,” Terrafuguia does what others have done but in a new, far more practical way. Compared to the Transition, Molt Taylor’s Aerocar is so last century. Transition folds its wings without leaving the cockpit. The company has produced a professional video that explains the concept and the award winning people behind it. *** Transition can cruise airborne at 115 mph or achieve highway speeds. Wingspan is 27.5 feet or 6.75 feet when folded (it fits in a regular garage stall). Using the 100-hp Rotax 912S for ground and air power, it can fly 460 miles on 20 gallons of fuel.
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