Terrafugia TF-X – WHEELS UP

STREET-LEGAL, AND TAKING OFF FOR THE FUTURE

by Syahmin Ritzwan

THE IDEA OF A FLYING CAR IS A NEVER DYING DREAM. Cartoonists, futurists, little boys and zany inventors kept it alive and ticking. Like the people behind the Terrafugia TF-X™ project.

Founded in 2006, Terrafugia hopes to revolutionise personal transport by combining driving and flying. The company started out with The Transition, a two-seat, fixed wing street legal aircraft, designed to be flown in and out of general aviation airports. The first prototype successfully took off in 2009, and in 2011 conducted a live flying-driving demonstration with a second generation prototype.

The success of the company’s first venture garnered international interest. More importantly, it became a kind of proof of process for the future of personal transportation. The result was unveiled in 2013, the TF-X™ concept. Able to recharge its batteries from either its engine or by plugging into the electric grid, the TF-X™ can auto-land vertically at approved landing sites. If an operator is unable to land sites due to bad weather or unforeseen circumstances, it will automatically make preparations for a horizontal landing at the nearest airport. Added safety is provided by a fullvehicle parachute system.

Capable of flying in either manual or automatic modes, the aircraft will be built for a non-stop flight range of at least 500 miles, with a cruise speed of up to 200 mph. It can perform vertical take off and landing (VTOL) and can be driven on roads and highways. Still in development, it may well be the final proof that we are not that far from flyingdriving straight out of our standard size garage.

CAPABLE OF FLYING IN EITHER MANUAL OR AUTOMATIC MODES, THE AIRCRAFT WILL BE BUILT FOR A NON-STOP FLIGHT RANGE OF AT LEAST 500 MILES

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