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Flying Cars Could Be Coming Sooner Then You Think

by on August 20, 2015
 

So here we are in 2015, so many previous movies have predicted that by now our skies will be full of self driving flying cars. Flying car company Terrafugia promised to release a flying car called the Transition in 2009, to customers. Which has not yet happened, but wait…

Behold the TF-X.

The TF-X

The TF-X

TF-XTM Goals:

Safety

  • Operating a TF-X™ vehicle should be statistically safer than driving a modern automobile.
  • TF-X™ vehicles will be capable of automatically avoiding other air traffic, bad weather, and restricted and tower-controlled airspace.
  • TF-X™ will have a backup full-vehicle parachute system which can be activated by the operator in an emergency if the operator believes the TF-X™ to be incapable of auto-landing.
  • If a TF-X™ operator declares an emergency (which will automatically notify authorities of the situation), the TF-X™ can be landed in non-approved landing zones.
  • If the operator becomes unresponsive, TF-X™ would automatically implement an emergency auto-land at the nearest airport.

Simplicity

  • Learning how to safely operate a TF-X™ vehicle should take an average driver no more than five hours.
  • TF-X™ will give the operator significant freedom in flight – controlled in a manner similar to steering a car.
  • TF-X™ will be able to fly in either “manual” or “automatic” modes between approved landing zones or airports.

Convenience

  • TF-X™ will carry four people in car-like comfort.
  • TF-X™ will have a non-stop flight range of at least 500 miles.
  • TF-X™ will fit into a standard construction single car garage.
  • TF-X™ will be able to takeoff vertically from a level clearing of at least 100ft in diameter.
  • TF-X™ will be able to drive on roads and highways – providing true door-to-door convenience and an automotive level of weather insensitivity.

– See full article at: Terrafugia.com 

As always, the promises made in the promo are impressive. Vertical takeoff and landing mean there’s no need for runways, its 200 mph top speed would make it faster than a Cessna, and automated landing cycles make it perfect for novice pilots.

Do we have any confidence we’ll see it built? Not anytime soon, but watch this space.

While Terrafugia has made successful test flights—Slovak competitor Aeromobil wasn’t so lucky—and seems to understand how to raise money, the idea of the flying car seems further away than ever.

Every model in development, from the Aeromobil to the Carplane, looks far more like a drivable plane than flying car, meaning none look like they’d have an outside chance of conforming to any crash test standards. Just imagine what would happen if the TF-X was confronted by a hummer.

In an era where the Federal Aviation Administration is poised to start regulation drones, and increasing efforts are being made to develop autonomous cars, the idea of flocks of private citizens taking to the skies seems far-fetched. We’d love to be wrong here—like Fox Mulder on the X Files, we want to believe.

We would love to hear your views on this topic, please feel free to leave a comment below.

  • David C. Sastry

    Don’t forget Moller International: http://www.moller.com They are flying their new Neuera/Firefly craft for the press in 3 months and will start taking orders at the end of the year. Their RotaPower engines are extremely popular being only 0.333 lb/hp and they are building a factory up in West Sacramento to start volume production of the motors.

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