Terrafugia Flying Car Test Flight: Spruce Goose, Anyone?

Just days after I trashed them for missing their February deadline, Terrafugia got their bird in flight: On March 5 at New York's Plattsburgh International Airport, the Terrafugia Transition flying car went airborne.

Admittedly, the video reminds me of Howard Hughes' infamous first and only test flight of the Spruce Goose, meaning she seemed a little labored at first, then skimmed the earth underneath for a solid minute or so before touching ground again. But this was a so-called 'runway flight', meant to keep it within the environment of the runway only.

In short, it was one giant leap for flying cars, one dull-ass clip for me. What was I expecting? Well, a Wilbur Wright moment, for one.

But I also hoped the test flight would show the vehicle making its transition from car to plane and back- justify its name in other words ... because ... without this, there is absolutely nothing visibly thrilling about the clip; aside from the four-wheel-configuration anomaly, it looks like a small, unimpressive aircraft in take-off. The requirement that I apply meaning to the image kinda kills the thrill of it.

The test pilot, Col. Phil Meteer of the USAFR (Ret.) says in a clip at the Terrafugia site that the Transition is "very stable on the runway", among other praises, but perhaps the most telling thing he said was that the test flight was "remarkable for being unremarkable."

Yeah, pretty much.

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