Terrafugia is working on a full-on futuristic flying car, the TF-X, which it expects to start selling in the early 2020s.
Wanted a flying car ever since you watched The Jetsons? Just wait 7 years from now and your dream might just come true, that is; if you’re rich enough or not dead yet.
Terrafugia is a Massachusetts company famously known for the invention of Transition, a mini plane which wings fold up upon landing so that pilots can simply drive back home, which is all very well for pilots, but what about the everyday man who does not own a pilot licence?
With Terrafugia’s new project, the average Joe does not have to worry about spending gruelling hours of training to obtain a pilot licence in order to get with the futuristic times. The flying car, TF-X, made out of carbon-fiber looks like a cross between a tiny plane and a tiny helicopter. The vehicle takes off vertically upwards with no runway required, using 600 hp electric motor pods mounted on each side.
Once airborne, the motor pods fold forward, and electric motors and a rear 300 hp gas engine kick in. It can fly at a total speed of 200 miles/hr (322km/hr), and like all commercial air-lines, the TF-X flies on auto-pilot. The company claims that it should take an average driver less than 5 hours to learn how to safely operate the flying machine.
Terrafugia has refused to put a price on the TF-X yet, the company will only announce its cost when it gets closer to production. However, they did mention that, “With investment in automotive scale production, early studies indicate that it is possible that the final price point could be on-par with very high-end luxury cars.”
There goes the dream of jetting around like The Jetsons. Personally if I had that kind of money to spend, I’d rather invest in an Aston Martin One-77, that sexy monster and its V12 engine with 750 hp. Ooo la la! The sound of its purring engine is enough to make me writhe around in pleasure.
Coming back to the topic of the butt-ugly flying car (but seriously, they should get a better design for it), the chance of the TF-X being mass marketed will be derived from the sales of the $270,000 Transition. The Transition will be shipped to customers starting in 2015, and if the response is good, it will increase the likelihood of the production of the TF-X.
Well it might not look as sexy as the Aston Martin One-77, after all it is the first flying car to be ever made, but at least it has got powers comparable to the Aston.
“What powers you ask? I dunno, how 'bout the power of flight? That do anything for ya? That's levitation holmes.” – Wonderboy, Tenacious D.
Check out the video below of the TF-X demonstration.