The Massachusetts-based start-up company, Terrafugia, have successfully tested their first flying vehicle. Plans for this hybrid-electric flying car have gone global, and the vehicle is so slight, it boasts to be able to fit into the smallest of garages! A welcome asset to those that reside in tight city apartments and cramped spaces –a large garage is often a rare treat.
Regardless of whether you choose to cruise the road or travel by the air, this semi-autonomous two-seater is an easy drive. The majority of journeys, as well as take-offs and landings, will be powered by electric motors, whilst longer flights will utilize an in-house gas turbine.
Expected to adopt a 500-mile driving/flying range and created with only the best aviation safety regulations in mind, the TF-X flying car is set to be a big hit on both the roads and in the air. It will certainly be a lot less hassle than making small journeys via plane.
How did it start?
The original prototype was founded in 2006 by a group of MIT graduates. Seven years later and a lot of hard work, Terrafugia have finally put their first flying car to the test. Aptly titled ‘the Transition’, this astounding invention boasts a sleek design, two seats, and a rather loud engine complete with fold-up wings. Since Terrafugia’s release date, the company have received over 100 pre-orders and when in production, it’s guaranteed to fly off the shelves.
The starter price for the craft is currently set as $279,000. This price reflects the improved hybrid engine; the faster and more streamline shape, the robust structure and the rotor blades on each wing tip. The blades will use the same action as wheels on a plane, and at a touch of a button, the wing tips will unfold to assist take offs and landings. They will also fold away again when in flight mode.
What you need to do if you buy flying car?
Those thinking of purchasing the world’s first flying car must ensure they have ample yard space. The Terrafugia needs at least 100 feet to take to the skies. Despite this, driving it to an open space within your area will probably be a lot easier than driving to a landing strip. This doesn’t rule out those that live in busy cities, all it means is, drivers will quite simply have to journey to an open space prior to taking off.
Those thinking of investing in this innovative vehicle must also consider the obstacles. For one, purchasing insurance may be a little on the pricey side, landing and taking off may require permission. In certain areas and the expenses to house and run the vehicle may be more than that of your average electric car.
TF-X Still needs improvements
All this said, the team behind the model are working all hours to overcome various obstacles and challenges – this work will ensure the flying vehicle is as safe as possible. Such factors will also ensure the vehicle is both road and sky safe, is able to avoid bad weather conditions and air traffic and in the case of an unresponsive operator, land in non-approved areas. Such information would be communicated to air traffic controllers. Another safety mechanism involves an in-car parachute system.
Although orders are already in place, the design and safety procedures could take up to ten years to complete. This easy-to-operate aircraft is only the start of things to come and is an insight into the future of automobiles. Who knows, but in 20 years we could be all driving around in these vehicles.
Official Release Date
The TF-X Terrafugia, official release date is, as of yet unknown, yet we’ll certainly be hearing more of this vehicle and its many benefits in up and coming months.
Photo Credit: Terrafugia