Concept car from Terrafugia has vertical takeoff and landing

The company that hopes to make flying cars a reality for the average consumer has taken the concept one step further. Terrafugia’s TF-X™ will be a four-seat plug-in hybrid electric flying car with vertical takeoff (VTOL) and landing capabilities.

terrafugia-hybrid-electric-car-airplane-VTOL-concept-EDIWeekly
Terrafugia’s TF-X™ is the ultimate concept car: it is a plug-in hybrid electric car that also flies, with the added benefit of vertical takeoff and landing. It will have a range of 800 kilometres and is capable of auto-landing.

The original Terrafugia Transition converts from car to aircraft in under a minute and is the only light aircraft designed to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, according to the company. It flies (or will) to and from air traffic–controlled airports, then converts back to car mode and drives off the runway.

But the TF-X takes the concept to the next level; now the driver/pilot can take off anywhere, without a runway, as long as there is a level area with 100 metres of diameter. It must be emphasized that the vehicle exists only in CGI simulation at this time. There is no working prototype. As conceived, however, it has folding wings with electrically powered rotors at their tips. The twin, 600 hp electric motor pods are deployed for takeoff and landing. Each pod has 16 separate motors “for safety.” A megawatt of power is used to lift the craft, and the engine recharges the batteries as it flies. It flies with a cruising speed of 320 km/h and has a range of 800 kilometres.

Once the vehicle is airborne, the rotors pivot forward and function as propellers until the craft reaches cruising speed. The forward propellers are boosted by a 300 hp pusher-prop at the rear. When the craft reaches cruising speed, the front props stop and fold flat, and the craft is driven by the pusher-prop alone.

At present the technical operations seem more “vision” than real. It will be capable of “auto-landing,” and before takeoff the TF-X’s fail-safe features will determine whether a selected landing destination is possible. If it is not, the takeoff will not be allowed. And if the craft runs into problems that prevent a normal landing, it has a full-vehicle parachute to bring the whole thing down safely.

Terrafugia expects development from concept to working model to take 10–12 years. They estimate that it would take an average car driver no more than five hours to learn how to operate a TF-X.

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • Touchless computer control from Waterloo tech company an early success
  • Slight increase in manufacturing sales in May
  • Canada's auto industry on cusp of rebuilding in NAFTA, but no thanks to CETA: Unifor
  • Manufacturing sales rose sharply in some sectors in January: Statistics Canada
  • Large investment in Toronto biotech company could lead to new therapies for heart patients
  • Diesel emissions fallout continues: US. to sue Chrysler Fiat if talks fail
  • Siemens awarded largest ever contract for onshore wind turbines
  • GM, Ford and VW bear the brunt of a dip in Chinese auto sales; trade war cools world's biggest auto market
  • CAE USA wins $200 million contract for Army training
  • Pros and Cons of EDM: What is electrical discharge machining, and how does it work?
  • Ozone-Destroying Emissions Rising Unexpectedly, Scientists Baffled
  • Large CSeries order builds momentum for Bombardier
  • Ontario invests $488,250 to create new jobs in Subdbury and expand research in mining.
  • Scientists Use Machine Learning to Automate Atomic-Scale Manufacturing
  • Canada's economy rebounds with stronger manufacturing, construction
  • Wind farm opponents' complaint lacked proof: judge
  • Q1 Canadian corporate profits up, led by oil and gas
  • The challenges of 3D printing or manufacturing in space — without gravity to help it all "stick"
  • Economy grew fastest in north, west in 2012: Statistics Canada
  • Engineers use captured carbon to create new form of concrete
Scroll to Top