Is the Terrafugia TF-X the Flying Car of the Future?
Every few months a new flying car concept excites the Internet into dreamy-eyed fervor. The latest comes from Massachusetts flying car company Terrafugia, and it may have the right recipe for making the “car of tomorrow” a thing of today. It’s called the Terrafugia TF-X, a successor to the firm’s plane-like Transition flying car, and it certainly dives headlong into advanced technology. The four-seater TF-X concept is a plug-in hybrid, designed to zip around on roads using its electric motors. The second half of that hybrid powertrain is a 300 horsepower combustion engine, which is intended to charge the flying car’s onboard batteries during flight and assist in its takeoff…vertical takeoff and landing, that is. RELATED: See More Photos of the Terrafugia TF-X Flying Car
Dual electric motor pods are designed to spin-up the TF-X’s propellers during ascension and landing, though once in flight, thrust is provided by a rear-mounted duct fan and aided along by one megawatt of battery power.
Once airborne, the Terrafugia can be piloted in manual or autopilot modes, and the company says it will feature automatic avoidance of other aircraft–all allegedly capable while cruising at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour and across 500 miles of flying range. In case of emergency, the concept features a backup parachute and an auto-land feature which will put the flying car down at the closest runway available. Terrafugia also notes that the TF-X concept is designed with safeguards against departure during unsafe conditions or without sufficient charge.
RELATED: Take a Look at the Terrafugia Transition Flying Car
Currently the TF-X is just a concept in the digital world, though Terrafugia believes it could produce a driving-flying real world version in the next eight to 12 years. If it does come to fruition, the company suggests a price tag within the realm of today’s “very high-end luxury cars.”
So will we see this flying car gracing the skies in a decade? Perhaps. But it’s important to remember there are conditions beyond development and cost that need to be addressed, namely legality, and whether the FAA and NHTSA would approve them for road and air use. Time will tell.
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