Terrafugia is hell bent on making the flying car commonplace on our streets and in our skies. To that end, the company has released details of yet another flying-cum-driving machine that could spell the demise of congestion and commuting as we know it.
The Terrafugia TF-X is a follow-up to the Terrafugia Transition car-slash-airplane thing, which is nearing production. This odd-looking contraption is a lot more versatile than its predecessor as it is capable of vertical take-off and landing (or VTOL for short). It uses twin rotor blades on the end of stubby wings that can tilt forwards, backwards and then tuck under the wings at speed, meaning you no longer need a nice stretch of straight road or a runway in your back garden to fly.
The Terrafugia TF-X will use a plug-in hybrid powertrain, details of which are thin on the ground. However, the company claims the TF-X will be able to fly at a maximum speed of 200mph – the Transition topped out at 115mph – while seating four people in comfort. Or terror.
Flying the TF-X is supposedly a doddle because of intelligent autopilot functionality, fly-by-wire controls similar to those in a normal car and other technical systems that keep you from ending up a smouldering wreck on the ground. You just say where you want to go and it can do the rest. This means a pilot’s license is unnecessary, although local airports will probably want to know if you take a jolly into their airspace.
The TF-X can travel 500 miles before it hits empty and you only need a square of land sized at 100ft in diameter to land. That’s bigger than the average garden, it must be said, but you can always land nearby and use the four wheels to drive the final stretch before parking it in a single garage. Because gravity is unkind to heavy flying objects that run out of steam, the TF-X comes with a parachute.
Now we must bring you back down to earth with some bad news. The TF-X will be production ready in – wait for it – 2021, assuming its development is hiccup-free. At least we only have to wait until 2015 to buy its predecessor, the Transition, yours for a princely sum of $200,000 (roughly £130,000).
Best head on to Terrafugia’s website to register interest if you have deep pockets and a dislike for ground-based travel.
Source: MSN Cars