IndustryTap has reported on flying cars including the Aeromobil, RC flying cars, and PAL-V. See links below. The desire for flying cars is no longer just part of the human imagination, it is becoming reality.
The Biggest Name In Flying Cars: Terrafugia
Terrafugia, a Massachusetts company founded by graduates of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT and the MIT Sloan School of Management, may become the first company in the world to manufacture and sell a flying car, as early as 2017. Terragugia means “escape from earth.”
Terrafugia has participated in the DARPA flying car program, priced its flying car at $279,000 and has over 100 pre-orders for which it has received $10,000 deposits now held in escrow. The company is now seeking $30 million from investors to help lay the foundation for manufacturing its first flying vehicle, the Transition.
Clearing Regulatory Hurdles
Terrafugia has requested and received an exemption from the FAA for Transitions’ maximum take off weight (MTOW) which is a hefty 1,440 pounds. Most of the extra weight comes from airbags, a roll cage, crumple zones and its road vehicle components.will Terrafugia is still in the process of getting full approval from the FAA for flying and has already received approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a “car”.
The Transition looks more like a plane that can be driven as a car. The next generation TF-X will look more like a car that can be flown as a plane. TF-X, currently in the concept phase, may have vertical takeoff and landing capability, new safety features and a simpler design. Delivery of TF-X is expected by 2022. Company CEO Carl Dietrich believes “the potential benefit to humanity of a practical flying car is tremendous.”
The following video shows the Transition going from a home single-car garage via regular roadways to a gas station to fill up its gas tank, then to an airfield where its wings are unfurled. The propeller is started and the flying car takes off, flying for 20 minutes at up to 110 mph, and landing, then returning to its suburban home garage.
Transition can carry up to 450 pounds and requires a 1,700 foot runway for takeoff and landing.
The following video shows the TF-X:
According to Terrafugia, owners of the Transition and later models will need a pilot’s license and special training before being permitted to fly.
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References and related links:
- 7 Reasons the Terrafugia Transition Isn’t Coming to Your Garage – Popular Mechanics
- Terrafugia, seeking $30M in funding, plans to have first flying cars ready in two years – Boston Business Journal
- Terrafugia Transition ‘flying car’ gets go-ahead from US air authorities – Telegraph