Flying cars have long been a staple of futuristic fantasies, but the mainstream auto industry has made a lot more progress toward vehicles that drive themselves than those that can take to the skies.
Inventors around the world have been trying to combine the ease and utility of driving with the three-dimensional freedom of flying since the beginning of the 20th century. The “flying car” has become a pop icon of the dream that never quite comes true. Until now. Terrafugia intends to be the company that catalyzes the creation of a flying car industry.
Their first product, the Transition® is a two-place, fixed wing, street legal airplane which has been internationally heralded as the “first practical flying car”. It is designed to fit in a single car garage, be safely driven on the highway, and be flown in and out of general aviation airports. It brings a new level of freedom, flexibility and fun to personal aviation and is available for pilots to reserve today.
The Transition® is a Proof of Process for Terrafugia’s longer-term vision for the future of personal transportation. This vision is embodied in the TF-X™: a four-place fixed wing aircraft with electrical assist for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). TF-X™ is a hybrid electric flying car designed to revolutionize personal travel with advanced technology and intelligent vehicle systems that greatly simplify safe personal flight.
Image: YEE – Concept Flying Car
Terrafugia, based in Boston, MA has already started taking orders for its FAA-approved Transition “flying car,” which takes off and lands like a plane, with wings that fold up for trips on land.
Now Terrafugia has introduced a new vehicle with significant improvements. The TF-X model takes off and lands vertically (like a helicopter) so it doesn’t need a runway.
The plug-in hybrid vehicle exists only in renderings for now, but given how far Terrafugia has taken its first model, it’s not crazy to expect to see this on our roads someday.
Some of you might be thinking of the Jetsons but this is for real! It’s the Terrafugia’s TF-X concept flying car that is also a Hybrid and a street legal plug-in. Can you imagine lifting-up from a highway during rush hour traffic and flying away?!
The next TF-X will have four-seats, collapsible wings, retractable propellers and an emergency parachute system. The best part is, it will be capable of driving and flying on its own!
TF-X™ is the practical realization of the dream of countless visions of the future; it is designed to be the flying car for all of us. In order to achieve this long-sought-after vision, Terrafugia will focus the TF-X™ program with clear goals that enhance the safety, simplicity, and convenience of personal transportation. We believe these goals are achievable today.
Terrafugia’s CEO Car Dietrich said, “This is the right time for us to begin thinking about the future”. We think he’s right and wonder what type of license we will need to drive/fly one of these. We especially can’t wait to try that “Vertical Takeoff and Landing”!