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Electric Vehicles Research
Posted on November 3, 2017 by  & 

Spotlight on Terrafugia

Terrafugia's mission is to create practical flying cars that enable a new dimension of personal freedom. Working since its inception in 2006 to lay the groundwork for a new paradigm in personal transportation, Terrafugia is equal parts pragmatism and innovation. With its Transition® roadable light sport aircraft gearing up for production and delivery, Terrafugia continues to have a bold product pipeline that combines ground and air travel in ways that are safe, practical, and exciting. Terrafugia's journey began with five award-winning MIT graduate co-founders and continues to grow with a world-wide group of innovators and engineers that are now backed by a global automotive parent company. We are strategically positioned to realize the vision of the flying car and revolutionize transportation.
That revolution begins with the Transition®. The Transition® combines driving and flying into one simple and easy-to-fly Light Sport Aircraft. The world's first practical flying car, it offers the convenience of driving, the speed of flight, and the ease of keeping the whole vehicle at home in your garage. The combination of its unique functionality and advanced safety features, including autonomous technologies, will make the Transition® safer than any other small aircraft in the sky. Terrafugia has already developed and flown two full-scale prototypes, and has received all of the special regulatory considerations necessary to bring the Transition® to the market in the US.
Beyond its innovative flying-and-driving functionality and ability to convert between the two in moments, Transition® is incorporating state-of-the art systems to make both the flying and driving experience as safe and simple as possible. On the road, an environmentally friendly hybrid-electric ground drive system will reliably get you from home to the airport and then to your final destination. In flight, an electric power boost, affectionately known as the "electric afterburner" will provide additional power to the propeller to mitigate a loss of engine power or to give the pilot that extra critical bit of climb performance or speed. A full vehicle parachute is also standard equipment. Safety in the air will be increased and pilot workload decreased by technologies like advanced autopilot, automatic ground collision avoidance (auto GCAS), and GPS-enabled navigation support and route planning. These technologies address the most common causes of serious aviation accidents, making the Transition® both safer and more fun to fly. As regulatory pathways open up for additional in-flight automation, new features can be added to the Transition® platform. The Transition® is also the first aircraft designed to meet the applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), with proven automotive-style safety features.
Terrafugia was founded by pilots and has remained true to their vision for personal flight. The Transition® is ideally suited to bring new pilots into aviation, inspire existing pilots to get back into the air, make the most use of the over 5,200 public general aviation airports around the US, and make flying simple, safe, and fun. The response from pilots--and the public--to the Transition® has been positive:
"The Transition® eliminates the obstacles that are keeping me out of the air."
  • Brittany, California
"This is something that would get me back into flying."
  • Chuck, Oklahoma
"This would be a great asset to my business. Convenience you cannot imagine."
  • Joseph, Nevada
Looking beyond Transition®, Terrafugia will be leveraging the technical and regulatory progress that it has been influential in creating over the last ten years to bring even bolder products to the personal and shared use aviation markets. The TF-X™, a mass-market flying car with the potential to revolutionize the way we all get around, is a key piece of Terrafugia's vision for the future. With electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) and wing-borne cruise, the TF-X™ is the personal flying car of the future: clean, safe, and convenient. With an eye to continuous progress, Terrafugia will be rolling out products that bring us closer to realizing the TF-X™ vision and tap into emerging markets and new use cases.
Bringing the Transition® to our customers and continuing a steady stream of innovation would not be possible without Terrafugia's world-class and rapidly growing team. With over 80 people currently working together to change personal transportation, Terrafugia is growing in both its Boston and San Francisco area locations.
Stay tuned to External Link to see how we are - and continue to be - Driven to Fly™.
The Transition® flying over upstate New York
The Transition® flying over upstate New York
The aircraft engine in the Transition® runs on unleaded automotive gasoline, cleaner and cheaper than aviation fuel while still allowing for a 400 mile range.
The Transition® converts between driving and flying with the push of a button.
Meet Terrafugia at Booth R42 at the IDTechEx Show! in Santa Clara, CA on November 15-16.
All image sources: Terrafugia
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