Flying cars have long captivated the world’s imagination. But so far, a working flying car has proved elusive.
Now, a Massachusetts-based firm, Terrafugia, has claimed that it is closer to making the technology a reality. Terrafugia has been developing a flying car called the TF-X™ since 2013.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has just approved test flights for an unmanned version of this flying car.
The flight testing is approved for research and development purposes. Terrafugia can test the hovering capabilities of a miniature version of the TF-X™, which will be about a 10th of the size of the original model.
Since the flying car is currently in the early stages of development, flight testing is key to refining the vehicle’s design before developing a full-size TF-X™ prototype.
Terrafugia thinks that it will still take them another 8-12 years in development before their flying car makes it to the market.
The TF-X™ will have the following features:
- It will be a four-seat, fixed-wing aircraft with an electrical assist feature for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), which means it won’t require a runway to take off or land.
- The hybrid-electric flying car will have rechargeable batteries that can be charged either by its engine or by electric car charging stations.
- The TF-X™ will have a cruising speed of 200 mph with at least a 500-mile flight range.
- The wings will fold out once the vehicle goes into flying mode.
- The semi-autonomous TF-X™ will be computer controlled. You just have to type in the destination before taking off.
- It can automatically avoid other air traffic, bad weather, and restricted airspace.