The road to production of any new aircraft can be a tough one
and one of the few roadable aircraft prototypes to seek full
production is finding that out the hard way... Terrafugia,
developer of the Transition "Flying Car" has confirmed a
long-rumored delay to its projected delivery schedule. The delay
allegedly resulted from a combination of production design
challenges and problems with third party suppliers. The company has
declined to go into more detail, but maintains its continued
commitment to the success of the Transition program.
For the past year Terrafugia says it has been 'focused' on the
development of prototype production tooling and processes as well
as the construction of two Transition production prototype
vehicles. The goal of demonstrating of one of these vehicles at
AirVenture 2011 was announced at AirVenture 2010.... but that, too,
will not happen on time.
In a letter to newsletter subscribers, Terrafugia CEO/CTO Carl
"It remains our goal to show one of the two production prototypes
at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI this July, but the vehicle will
not be ready to fly at the show. This is similar to the stage that
the Proof of Concept (POC) vehicle was in at Oshkosh 2008 (i.e.
mostly complete but untested). If we extrapolate from our
experience with the POC, the first test flights would be expected
in March of next year. To appropriately set expectations and adjust
our scheduling margins based on recent experience with suppliers
and other key third party contributors, we feel it is necessary to
extend our anticipated first delivery date to late 2012..."
Dietrich added that, "...Our team continues to be committed to
pushing the schedule forward as quickly as possible, but safety and
quality must remain our top priorities - particularly as we begin
our rigorous testing program. We will continue to focus our efforts
on developing the safest, most convenient, and most fun personal
aircraft the aviation world has ever seen. I believe that the
Transition will be worth the wait, and we sincerely appreciate your
support as we continue to overcome the challenges associated with
bringing this revolutionary product to market."