Hybrid-Electric Flying Car: Manufacturer Touts Of New Model Plan; First Product Yet To Hit Roads [PHOTOS & REPORT]
We will need to wait for at least another two years before we could witness the first ever model of a flying car making the historic entry both in the road and air.
But a Massachusetts aerospace firm has already unveiled a new design for a future flying car while the first product, a winged "Transition" flying car, is scheduled to hit the roads by 2015.
Like its first model, a street-legal airplane that converts between "flying and driving" modes in under a minute, Terrafugia's future model dubbed "TF-X" will be a four-seat, vertical takeoff and landing hybrid-electric flying car.
Terrafugia claims that the new model that could hit the market by 2025 will increase the level of safety, simplicity and convenience of personal aviation by incorporating the state-of-the-art in intelligent systems, fly by wire controls and other currently available technology.
"This is the right time for us to begin thinking about the future of the company beyond Transition development," Terrafugia CEO/CTO Carl Dietrich said. "We are passionate about continuing to lead the creation of a flying car industry and are dedicating resources to lay the foundations for our vision of personal transportation."
The revolutionary car could be driven like a car on the road and flown in the air like a plane. But instead of requiring a manual search for a runway, they could simply fly towards a local helipad or a space that could be considered a parking lot and take off using what has been called a tilt-rotor technology.
The hybrid electric flying car is envisioned to be capable of automatically avoiding other air traffic, bad weather, and restricted and tower-controlled airspace while having an in-built parachute system that will be activated automatically in emergency.
The model will be so simple to operate that an average driver would not take more than five hours to learn how to drive, while a "manual" or "automatic" flying modes can take the simplicity of the drive or flight to a new level, the manufacturing company claims.
The flying car will fit into a standard construction single car garage and will have the capacity of a non-stop flight rage of at least 500 miles carrying four people in a real car-like comfort. The TF-X will be able to recharge its batteries both from its engine and by plugging into an electric car charging station.
"Terrafugia is about increasing the level of safety, simplicity, and convenience of aviation. TF-X is an opportunity to provide the world with a new dimension of personal freedom!" Dietrich said.
Although the price of TF-X has not yet been stipulated, the current prototype, Transition-a car with wings that can fold into its sides, has a price tag of $279,000.
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