By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine
If you’re of a certain age, you may recall the breathless predictions in popular magazines of the the mid-1900s stating that within fifty years we’d all be commuting in flying cars. Given the present number of people that have difficulty navigating in two dimensions, adding a third may not be the best idea but one company is giving it a try.
Terrafugia has moved one step closer to bringing its Transition model into production. Classed as a Light Sport Aircraft, the air and road hybrid looks a bit like the result of a Smartcar mating with a Cessna Skymaster.
But it seems to work—as an aircraft it offers 105 mph cruise and a range of nearly 500 statute miles. On the ground, it’s a rear-wheel drive two seater with automated folding wings. The powerplant is a 100hp Rotax engine. The vehicle offers both flat-panel avionics and automotive crash protection including airbags.
The Department of Transportation recently granted the company several exemptions to normal automobile requirements. For example, the tires have to be rated for both highway use and the impact of multiple landings, and polycarbonate replaces laminated glass to save weight and resist bird strikes during flight.
Several successful test flights (and drives) have been performed and Terrafugia expects to begin production next year. The Sport Pilot license required for the craft can be achieved with a minimum of twenty logged hours of instruction, but longer courses are recommended for newcomers.
When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, click here for more information.
You can E-mail us at email@example.com or visit http://bit.ly/cf7az8 to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Visit http://bit.ly/9FxwTh to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.
The 32nd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place January 18-20, 2012 at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.