Introducing TF-X: Terrafugia’s Vision for the Future of Personal Transportation
Let’s say that you’re traveling on the freeway to a business meeting and your GPS tells you that the road in front of you has just become impassable. There is an alternate route available; however, it adds an hour and a half to your journey. You will miss your meeting. This could be a nightmare. It seems there is an answer being developed. It is a hybrid car that transitions into an airplane.
It’s called the TF-X: Terrafugia (which is Latin for “escape the earth”) and is being created in Woburn, Massachusetts by a team of award-winning MIT-trained aerospace engineers. Check out it’s range.
The car/craft uses electric power and gasoline (personally, I would like to see it use more electric power) to reach your destination. Since we’ve learned that traveling the same distance by air that you can cover on the ground produces less global warming pollution, we can still be on the ecological side of transportation and fulfill our dreams of soaring in the clouds.
Building on its experience with the Transition® program, Terrafugia has begun feasibility studies of a four-seat, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) plug-in hybrid-electric flying car, the TF-X™. Incorporating state-of-the-art technology in intelligent systems, fly-by-wire controls, and currently available technology, the TF-X™ could further increase the level of safety, simplicity, and convenience of personal aviation.
“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,” says Terrafugia CEO/CTO Carl Dietrich.
Here’s more from a recent Terrafugia press release:
Terrafugia’s design team is excited to be looking ahead to TF-X™ development activities as the Transition® program shifts from research and development to certification, production, and customer support activities. The Transition® serves as a Proof of Process for TF-X™ development and commercialization through the many technical, regulatory, and usage challenges it has overcome.
From the founding of Terrafugia back in 2006, the company in a separate press release says it “has been dedicated to the creation of practical flying cars — vehicles that will bring a new dimension of freedom to the world while simultaneously increasing the level of safety and convenience of personal transportation.”
This is not a short-term endeavor. Changes in modes of transportation typically take decades to accomplish, and the movement of society into the air is expected to be similar. Terrafugia has taken a long term approach to this change. We are starting inside the existing general aviation industry where we intend to gradually lower the barriers to entry while simultaneously increasing the level of safety of personal aviation.
Preliminary conversations with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about the TF-X™ concept have demonstrated their willingness to consider innovative technologies and regulatory solutions that are in the public interest and enhance the level of safety of personal aviation. Terrafugia is excited to be nearing production of the Transition® and continuing to push the envelope of personal transportation in a flying car. Dietrich adds, “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!”
A person viewing the test flight of the flying car said it best: “It’s the Jetsons, it really is.” With Solar Impulse, the solar airplane flying into aviation history, and Terrafugia TF-X coming close to production, the future of our personal transportation appears to be more ecologically sound and very exciting.
More information about Terrafugia is available at www.DrivenToFly.com
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