Flying cars sometimes referred to as hover cars, are a type of personal air vehicles that provide door to for transportation by both ground and air.They have often been a popular theme in Fantasy and Science fiction stories, but Companies like Terrafugiaare working hard to make it a reality.
The TerrafugiaTF-X is an autonomous flying car under development by the Boston based Terrafugia. Terrafugia is a Chinese owned corporation based in Woburn, Massachusetts, United States. It was founded by graduates of the department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of technology and graduates of the MIT Sloan School of Management.
The company was incorporated on the 1st of May 2006, with much of its initial funding coming from founder Carl Dietrich’s $30,000 Lemelson-MIT student prize. The company was purchased in July 2017 by the Zhenjiang Geely Holding Group.
The TF-X is a four passenger seated vehicle powered by two plug-in hybrid 600-horsepower electric motors for propulsion and combined with a 300-horsepower fuel engine.The TF-X is capable of vertical take off and landing by extending it retractable wings attached with pusher propellers.
The TF-X is planned to have a flight range of 500 miles with a cruising flight speed of 200 mph without the need to refuel or recharge, with its road speed currently unknown The TF-X will be able to fit into a single car garage.With no release date yet, it is expected to hit the market in the year 2023. It’s pricing is expected to be roughly $300,000..
When in flight the TF-X is effectively autonomous with its pilot able to navigate to a pre- specified landing zone by itself. However manual controls and overrides exist on the TF-X and final landing must be approved by the pilot. Terrafugia claims that it’s likely to take about five hours to learn how to drive the TF-X and takesubstantially less time to learn how to it, compared to a traditional aircraft.
The TF-X will be able to avoid air traffic, bad weather along with restricted and tower controlled air spaces. It would automatically land at the nearest airport if the operator becomes irresponsive, as an additional safety measure.
If the TF-X operator declares an emergency, the authorities will be automatically notified of the situation and the TF-X can then be landed in a non-approved landing zone. The TF-X also features a backup full vehicle parachute system which can be activated by the operator or pilot when the vehicle is incapable of auto-landing.