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Terrafugia TF-X flying plug-in hybrid car announced [video]

At least 8-12 years off

Terrafugia has released the first details about their TF-X flying car concept.

Currently under development, the TF-X is envisioned as a vertical takeoff and landing plug-in hybrid-electric flying car that has state-of-the-art technology and fly-by-wire controls.

Terrafugia says learning to use the TF-X will only take about five hours as they've tried to make everything as car-like as possible. More importantly, the TF-X has an automatic flying and landing system to ensure even novices can use it.

Detailed specifications haven't been released, but the TF-X is envisioned to use a 300 bhp (224 kW) engine and two 600 bhp (447 kW) electric motor pods for vertical takeoff and landing. In flight mode, this should enable the TF-X to hit 200 mph (322 km/h) and have a range in excess of 500 miles (805 km).

The TF-X is also slated to have an advanced safety system that requires users to select a primary landing zone as well as backup landing zones. If the TF-X determines that it doesn't have enough power to conduct "last minute aborts at the first two sites and safely navigate to and land at the third within a 30 minute reserve, or if the forecast weather in any of the three landing zones would be outside the allowable limits, or if any of the selected landing zones are in temporarily restricted airspace (TFRs), departure will not be allowed until appropriate landing zones are selected." Other safety features include a backup parachute and an emergency auto-land function which will land the aircraft if the pilot becomes unresponsive.

While the company says it's too early to talk about pricing, they want to put the TF-X in "automotive scale production" which could make it cost competitive "very high-end luxury cars." Even if everything works out, Terrafugia expects the TF-X will be in development for at least 8-12 years.

Source: Terrafugia via Jalopnik

Terrafugia Shares TF-X™ Vision

Woburn, MA (May 6, 2013) – Terrafugia Inc., the developer of the Transition® street-legal airplane, announced its vision for the future of personal transportation. Building on its experience with the Transition® program, Terrafugia has begun feasibility studies of a four-seat, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) plug-in hybrid-electric flying car, the TF-X™. Incorporating the state-of-the-art in intelligent systems, fly by wire controls, and currently available technology, the TF-X™ will further increase the level of safety, simplicity, and convenience of personal aviation.

“This is the right time for us to begin thinking about the future of the company beyond Transition® development,” says Terrafugia CEO/CTO Carl Dietrich, “We are passionate about continuing to lead the creation of a flying car industry and are dedicating resources to lay the foundations for our vision of personal transportation.” Terrafugia’s design team is excited to be looking ahead to TF-X™ development activities as the Transition® program shifts from research and development to certification, production, and customer support activities. The Transition® serves as a Proof of Process for TF-X™ development and commercialization through the many technical, regulatory, and usage challenges it has overcome.

By directly addressing congestion and other transportation challenges currently being faced internationally, widespread adoption of vehicles like the Transition® and TF-X™ could result in significant economic benefits and personal time savings. Preliminary conversations with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about the TF-X™ concept have demonstrated their willingness to consider innovative technologies and regulatory solutions that are in the public interest and enhance the level of safety of personal aviation. Terrafugia is excited to be nearing production of the Transition® and continuing to push the envelope of personal transportation. Dietrich adds, “Terrafugia is about increasing the level of safety, simplicity, and convenience of aviation. TF-X™ is an opportunity to provide the world with a new dimension of personal freedom!”

Terrafugia (terra-FOO-gee-ah), based in Woburn, MA, is a growing aerospace company founded by pilot-engineers from MIT and supported by a world-class network of advisors and investors. The company name is Latin for “escape the earth.” Terrafugia’s mission is to build practical flying cars. More information is available at www.DrivenToFly.com

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Comments (6)

 Prowler1997 Prowler1997
How is this thing going to be able to fly carrying around all those heavy batteries?
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May 8, 2013 9:48 am
 astondan4 astondan4
Maybe the US government will dump a bunch of money in this one like they did Fisker. This site has been lacking lately in amazing stories of failure.
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May 8, 2013 7:51 am
 Madness Madness
Hahaha good luck getting the FAA's seal of approval on this one!
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May 8, 2013 3:31 am
 tbrodie tbrodie
All my life, I've been waiting for a flying car that can fold up into a briefcase.
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May 8, 2013 2:09 am
 Aditya.Ramesh Aditya.Ramesh
a car and a plane should never be mixed,and i dont mind spending days mastering the controls only if it s a real plane
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May 8, 2013 12:26 am
 Shotokan6 Shotokan6
You guys can go ahead and test it for a few years before I put my family in that thing. Reminds me of the US military's Osprey. Not reassuring.
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May 7, 2013 9:00 pm