New design for Terrafugia's second flying car model, which should go on sale in 2021 with a starting price in excess of £200,000

Terrafugia, the company behind the Transition car-plane from 2012, is back with a new flying car design dubbed TF-X.

Described as being “the flying car for all of us”, the four-seat TF-X features a plug-in hybrid powertrain which powers both its wheels when on the ground and two electrically driven rotors for flight. It’s capable of vertical take-off and landing, as opposed to needing a runway to become airborne.

Once in the air, the TF-X has a claimed range of 500 miles, although Terrafugia hasn’t specified a cruising speed. The firm’s first model, the Transition, can travel up to 410 miles at a cruising speed of 100mph. The Transition is powered by a 99bhp Rotax aircraft engine that’s capable of returning a claimed 35mpg on the road.

When in flight, the TF-X is effectively autonomous, with its makers saying the car can avoid other air traffic, bad weather and restricted air space and navigate to a pre-specified landing zone - and pre-selected backup landing zones - by itself, although manual controls and overrides also exist. A final landing can only be approved by the driver, and a full-vehicle parachute system acts as a back-up.

Terrafugia says that learning to drive the TF-X is likely to take just five hours, and that the final design “should be statistically safer than driving a modern automobile". The vehicle will be able to fit into a standard single-car garage.

The first exterior design for the TF-X was unveiled in 2013, with development to bring the car to production scheduled to last between eight and 12 years. That means the TF-X won’t be on sale until 2021 at the earliest, with Terrafugia saying the vehicle will be priced to compete with current high-end luxury cars.

With the Transition currently costing $279,000 (about £180,000), a starting price of over £200,000 is likely for the TF-X.

US-based Terrafugia was founded in 2006 by aeronautics and management graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company currently has 20 employees.

Flying cars - the rivals

AeroMobil 3.0 - This two-seat Slovakian design was first flown in 2013. It uses the same Rotax 912 engine as the TF-X and has a claimed range of 435 miles.

Skyrunner - Unlike most other flying cars, the Skyrunner doesn’t use a fixed wing design. Instead, a 1.0-litre Ford EcoBoost engine provides thrust to achieve powered parachute flight. The car was unveiled in 2013 and costs from £74,282.

Moller Skycar - Another VTOL-capable design, the Skycar features seating for four and has a claimed range of 805 miles and a top speed of 331mph.

Xplorair PX200 - The 660kg single-seat PX200 has only so far been shown as a 1/2-scale model. A full-size radio-controlled prototype is scheduled to be flown at the Paris air show in 2017, before manned flights begin in 2020.

Read more:

Blog - Of flying cars and fixers

Terrafugia Transition unveiled

From the archives - Terrafugia's Transition flying car

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Comments
8

24 July 2015
Can't think of a better way to reduce the world population of the super-rich.

24 July 2015
I sort of get it...but, if it takes off (I thank you) what physically happens when a bunch of you arrive at work at the same time..holding patterns? hovering? It basically relies on the skies being empty for its advantage. Which admittedly they are compared to roads.

24 July 2015
Sorry - this amuses me! For sale: 1 used flying car 5 years old - some service history but mostly maintained on the cheap by Jeff from Dudley who specialises in fixing Reliant Robins. Official parts too expensive so cheap chinese reproductions used instead. Yours to drive away at £500, or fly if you are really brave.

27 July 2015
topsecret456987 wrote:
Sorry - this amuses me! For sale: 1 used flying car 5 years old - some service history but mostly maintained on the cheap by Jeff from Dudley who specialises in fixing Reliant Robins. Official parts too expensive so cheap chinese reproductions used instead. Yours to drive away at £500, or fly if you are really brave.

What do you think a Victorian would have said if you told them you planned to take a train, allow them to go everywhere the driver directed, put them in the hands of the lower classes and even criminals and have them regularly hit the same speeds as the land speed record holder?

Whether computer control will make personal flying vehicles practical or whether further advances will be needed remains to be seen

.

24 July 2015
You probably have to sign a form at the dealership to say you're not a terrorist before taking ownership. I mean come on, no pun intended but this project won't get off the ground. I trust those students are studying engineering and not social studies or law (or for a degree in common sense).

24 July 2015
Flying Cars sound like a great idea,but,what with the fact that Air Traffic controllers have enough on there hands with Planes,have Cars zooming along at lower levels is just impossible i think,for instance,i assume you'd have to get a Pilots ticket?,where would you keep it?,would you have to use different Fuels (high grade for Flying?),would insurances be higher?,how much will they cost to buy and run?,these are only a few questions for this subject,it's bad enough with the thought of grid lock in the Cities becoming the norm,for instance,the Ferry strike in France,within two Days,it's now on British soil!

Peter Cavellini.

25 July 2015
caused the U.S. government multi-billion headaches. This seems to work similarly. I am curious where Terrafugia got the idea that this is going to be easy engineering. Would have gotten more positive vibes if the company had shaped this contraption in the form of a lifting body. Be prepared for a hefty fuel bill are my initial thoughts.

25 July 2015
dollar headaches, I meant.

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