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Geely's acquisition of flying car startup Terrafugia approved by US authorities

(People's Daily Online)    15:50, August 08, 2017

Transition, the world's first practical flying car (Photo/official website of Terrafugia)

US authorities approved China's homegrown automaker Geely's acquisition of flying car startup Terrafugia, an insider revealed recently, Thepaper.cn reported on Aug. 8.

According to the official website of Terrafugia, the company was incorporated in 2006 by five MIT graduates. Transition, a vehicle developed by Terrafugia, is the world's first practical flying car. It is a "folding-wing, two-seat, roadable aircraft designed to fly like a typical Light Sport Aircraft category airplane in the air and drive like a typical car on the ground."

South China Morning Post reported in July Geely's acquisition plan kicked off last year but at the time the purchase price was unclear. Geely's acquisition had to be approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and then pass an investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense, since flying cars belong to the cutting-edge technology sector.

The insider told Thepapaer.cn that Geely views the acquisition of Terrafugia as a strategic opportunity. Like the growing maturity of unmanned driving technology, the market potential of flying cars is promising, as they meet market demand and improve urban transportation.

Transition, the world's first practical flying car (Photo/official website of Terrafugia)

Terrafugia's products are developed in compliance with U.S. regulations and are expected to enter the U.S. market in 2019. Analysts predict that the acquisition will cost billions of yuan. However, the insider said the price was less than that figure, in the hundreds of millions.

The Daily Mail reported in July that Terrafugia's street-legal airplane, Transition, "was approved last year by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be certified as a Light Sport Aircraft."

According to the official website of Terrafugia, the first prototype of Transition was built and flown in 2009, followed by a second iteration in 2012. The craft has a cruise range of 400 miles with top speed of 100 miles per hour. It can fly at a maximum altitude of 10,000 feet (about 3,048 meters).

In the next three years, Terrafugia will finalize the vehicle design and complete compliance testing in preparation for delivery. People can reserve the Transition in advance with a $10,000 deposit. In addition, the company has also developed the F-X™--a new concept flying car that will be able to take off and land vertically.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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