Terrafugia is bringing urban air mobility to the Gate City at Nashua airport.
Terrafugia is currently in the process of leasing hangar space at 101 Perimeter Road.
Chris Jaran, CEO of Terrafugia, stated: “It is enough space for us to do all of our testing for the Transition flying car and to accommodate the first couple of years of production. As the years move on and we build more aircraft, there is an ability for us to expand there.”
The Transition is scheduled to begin production in early 2019, and has a target price around that of a high-end luxury vehicle.
The Nashua Airport Authority has already granted Terrafugia permission to operate its vehicles at the municipal airport.
“We are in the middle of the legal discussion about the content of the lease, but we should be in there Sept. 1,” Jaran added.
Jaran outlined the search process:Terrafugia’s chief pilot searched all airports within a 50-mile radius of the company’s Woburn, MA headquarters, and eventually settled on about three. The hangar in Nashua had the most available space, and the airport’s management was eager to have them on board.
Terrafugia’s Nashua workforce will start off with about six to 10 employees consisting of mechanics and pilots, and will slowly increase.
Jaran envisions Nashua eventually becoming Terrafugia’s maintenance and pilot training base.
“We are rapidly expanding,” said Jaran. Terrafugia has grown from 19 employees last year to over 200 today.
“We are really going to be the first flying car to achieve the goal of production. We are looking forward to a bright future in the vertical lift and urban air mobility — a very new and very dynamic industry,” said Jaran.
“As a unique automotive vehicle and a light sport aircraft, the Transition is built for both aviation and automotive safety to comply with Federal Aviation Administration and National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration standards,” says a release. “The new features will enable the Transition to meet all the necessary requirements while optimizing the flight experience for both pilot and passenger.”
Jaran also hinted that the company is working on development of a larger eVTOL aircraft (possibly dubbed the TF-X), but that its development timeline was further away than the full scale production of the Transition.
“We would need a larger facility for that, but we have already had discussions with some owners of facilities near the Nashua airport. But it is a bit early to actually do that.”
Why it’s important: Terrafugia is committing its manufacturing and flight testing efforts to the Nashua airport, and by extension will be committing themselves to working with local regulations in addition to the FAA during certifying their Transition flying car. In general, aircraft are only certified under the Federal Aviation Administration, but because the Transition is also intended to be road-legal, it must also be certified under the Department of Transportation as well.
Learn more about the Transition here.
- New Hampshire Union Leader