Hosted by IDTechEx
Electric Vehicles Research
Posted on December 28, 2015 by  & 

Flying car model has been approved for tests in US airspace

Inventors around the world have been trying to combine the ease and utility of driving with the three-dimensional freedom of flying since the beginning of the 20th century. The "flying car" has become a pop icon of the dream that never quite comes true. Terrafugia intends to be the company that catalyzes the creation of a flying car industry.
Their first product, the Transition® is a two-place, fixed wing, street legal airplane which has been internationally heralded as the "first practical flying car". It is designed to fit in a single car garage, be safely driven on the highway, and be flown in and out of general aviation airports. It brings a new level of freedom, flexibility and fun to personal aviation and you can reserve yours today.
The Transition® is a Proof of Process for Terrafugia's longer-term vision for the future of personal transportation. This vision is embodied in the TF-X™: a four-place fixed wing aircraft with electrical assist for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). TF-X™ is a hybrid electric flying car designed to revolutionize personal travel with advanced technology and intelligent vehicle systems that greatly simplify safe personal flight.
Terrafugia is excited to announce a significant milestone in the TF-X™ development program: the FAA has authorized Terrafugia to operate small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) in the TF-X™ configuration for research and development (R&D) purposes. The TF-X™, Terrafugia's vision for the future of personal transportation, is a four-seat, hybrid electric, semi-autonomous, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) flying car. As the TF-X™ program is currently in the early stages of development, extensive sub-scale flight testing of sUAS, along with wind tunnel testing and aerodynamic simulation, are key to refining the vehicle's design.
Specifically, the FAA exemption will allow Terrafugia to test the hovering capabilities of a one-tenth scale TF-X™ vehicle and gather flight characteristics data that will drive future design choices. Because of the unconventional configuration of the TF-X™, it is vital to achieve sustained, stabilized hovering with smaller models before developing a full-size TF-X™ prototype. Testing of the sUAS vehicles will be conducted by Terrafugia's experienced flight test team in partnership and communication with all relevant authorities.
An exemption from the FAA was necessary in order to conduct commercial R&D work with an sUAS, and allows Terrafugia to operate the TF-X™ scale prototypes in compliance with all airspace and other applicable regulations, up to an altitude of 400 feet and at speeds under 100 mph.
Source and top image: Terrafugia
More IDTechEx Journals