7th May 2013
Terrafugia's vision for the future of personal transportation
Last year, US company Terrafugia achieved a milestone in its goal of developing a flying car. A production prototype of the "Transition" – a two-seater personal aircraft/car hybrid – completed its first test flight at New York's Plattsburgh International Airport. It became the first vehicle in the world to meet the standards of both the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Commercial sales of the Transition are expected within two years at a cost of $279,000.
Terrafugia has now released a video, seen below, of another vehicle it is working on. "TF-X" – a more advanced concept – would take-off vertically, rather than needing a runway. It could seat four passengers (double that of the Transition) and fit into a standard home garage. With a hybrid-electric motor, the TF-X would be able to recharge its batteries either from the engine, or by plugging into electric car charging stations.
Advances in materials and technology will make the concept possible, according to the company. Carbon-fibre for the skin is lighter and stronger than metals, for example, while engines are becoming ever more compact and powerful. The TF-X is the "next logical progression".
"I would caution anyone from saying this is science fiction," says John Brown, editor of the Roadable Times. "They have a track record of doing what they say. We need to take this seriously." For more information, visit the official website.