The Terrafugia TF-X flying car has reached the testing phase, taking us one step closer to the dream of commuting via the skies.
Since we last saw the TF-X hybrid vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) four-seat machine, it has undergone a few style revisions to make it look less like a plane and more like a vehicle you might actually want to own.
The ‘Outer Mold Line’ design, as Terrafugia calls it, was developed in collaboration with automotive designer Vedran Martinek and Ben Schweighart.
It retains the fold-out wings that enable it to fly at up to 200mph, as well as swivelling propellers for land and taking off without a runway. Range is said to be 500 miles, meaning it could do make it across the English Channel for a French booze cruise, although boot space will be an issue.
Terrafugia says testing of a one-tenth scale model will begin at the MIT Wright Brothers wind tunnel in Massachusetts of the US. Drag, lift and thrust forces will be measured during hovering flight, transitioning to forward flight and full forward flight to hone the design.
There’s something oh so ‘Terra-fying’ about being a first-generation adopter of a flying car, especially when it will cost and an arm and a leg to buy and may even cost you a few extra limbs if something goes wrong (even if it has a built-in parachute). But then the Wright brothers had to break a few eggs to make an omelette, right?
Watch a digital version of the TF-X to see how it could fly and wait patiently for production to begin, if the business venture ever gets that far.