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

  • CAE to acquire Lockheed Martin flight training division
  • UC engineers create first semiconductor-free microelectronics device
  • First Electric Car Day held at Queen's Park
  • Who says bigger isn't better: General Electrics massive carbon-fibre 3D printed engine more fuel efficient
  • Nexen Energy Expansion Announced
  • Ontario home builders don't like government's inclusionary zoning plan
  • Months, if not years, until balance restored in oil markets
  • NASA Plans to Send Robotic Helicopter to Mars in 2020
  • More government support for Quebec aerospace industry
  • Demand for industrial real estate soaring in Canada: report
  • Bombardier Competitor Comes to Toronto
  • Resource-based provinces lead in wage gains
  • With $390 billion in trade at stake, Premier Ford met with manufacturing trade partners; says steel and aluminum tariffs hurt the U.S. more than Canada
  • Renewable energy now costs less than fossil fuels in some countries: report
  • Pharma company shares surge on favourable Q2 report
  • A cloaking device possible? Stealth technology studies virtual invisibility through "irradiating with its own specific pattern"
  • Bombardier CSeries finally flies the skies of Paris
  • Waterloo researchers seek cheaper fuel cells for electric cars
  • Lobby groups working hard to convince Obama on Keystone
  • Canadian high school student wins top prize at Intel International Science Fair
Scroll to Top