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.