Updated Terrafugia TF-X Flying Car Model Revealed; To Test One-tenth Scale Model
Appearance and Features of Terrafugia TF-X Flying Car
The updated model TF-X of the flying car has a sleeker appearance. While the Transition required a runway for taking off, the TF-X will have the capability to take off as well as land vertically.
Terrafugia’s goal is to enable “true door-to-door transportation” through the TF-X. The flying car, capable of accommodating four people, will have computerized control systems. The operator has to just key in his/her desired destination before taking off from a 100 feet diameter level clearing. The car will then fly by itself.
According to Terrafugia website, the driver will have to select one primary landing zone and two backup zones. If the TF-X determines that fuel available is insufficient to land at least at one of the backup zones, in the event of an emergency, before making it to the primary destination in 30 minutes, the vehicle will not take-off at all. The other situations in which the hybrid vehicle would not embark on a flight include dangerous weather forecast and one of the chosen landing zones falling into temporarily restricted airspaces.
The TF-X comes with fold-out wings and two electric motor pods that are attached at the ends. A 300 HP engine powers the motors. The wings can be moved from the vertical to horizontal position as and when needed for takeoff, cruising and landing. A thrust of 1 mega watt is provided by two small helicopter-type propellers which fold off when the vehicle is in the cruising mode. The flying car’s cruising speed is 200 mph or 322 km/h and has a flight range of 500 miles or 805 kilometers.
As with take off, Terrafugia is planning to enable independent landing for TF-X. However, the user will have to decide when it is safe to land and when it is not. As soon as the flying car touches the ground, the wings get folded in just a few seconds, enabling the hybrid vehicle to be used as a car on road.
The batteries of the hybrid vehicle can be charged either through the engine or at electric charging stations for cars. The flying car fits easily into a regular garage and can be driven on all types of streets as well as highways.
On their website, Terrafugia has clearly spelt out what their goals as far as safety, simplicity and convenience aspects are concerned. The site also includes vision related to TF-X’s technical operations. Ultimately, Terrafugia wants users to operate a TF-X in a statistically safer manner than a modern car. However, it will be some time before the flying car becomes a reality.