Terrafugia, which is a Chinese company, is preparing to unleash a vehicle which is called the Transition, and which can turn from a car into an aircraft in less than a minute.
The first flying car in the world is set to go on the market with pre-sales scheduled to start this month. The primary of the two-seat hybrid-electric vehicles, which has the ability to shift between driving and flying modes in just a minute, is going to be delivered to customers next year.
According to a manufacturer from the company, which is actually an ownership of the parent company of Volvo, the vehicle can fly up to 400 miles (640km) at top speeds of about 100 miles per hours, which makes it slower than the most sluggish jet in the world, the Soviet PZL M-15 Belphegor that has been built in order to be utilized on massive farms owned by the state.
The most striking aspect of the Transition is its folding wings, which extend to permit flight and which can also be retracted when driving on roads.
The price was not determined yet, but preliminary sales for the first of the pioneering models with a start in October, as we already mentioned. Terrafugia previously mentioned that the Transition would probably cost $279,000, even though the company revised the cost to go up to somewhere between $300k and $400k. This means it could have a price of more than £300,000 in the UK.
The flying car is also fitted with a parachute system and a ‘boost’ mode, in order to give a brief burst of extra power while flying, as well as with rear-view cameras. Some recent improvements of the vehicle have included a hybrid-electric motor, upgraded seats, as well as more baggage storage, improved seat belts, and airbags too.
The Federal Aviation Administration certified it as a Light Sports Aircraft in 2016. The flying car also meets National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration standards, but consumers will need a pilot’s license in order to operate with it.
Eliminating the hassle of hangar storage, ground transportation, as well as aviation fuel, the vehicle fuels up with automotive gas and can be stored in your home garage.
The company also believes that Transition could actually be a useful vehicle for pilots to land at small airports and drive straight at their homes.
The aircraft has fold-out wings, which weigh about 1,300 pounds, and also has fixed landing gear. It has the ability to fly to a maximum altitude of 10,000 feet.
Terrafugia also works on a larger craft, which is called the TF-2, a three-part vehicle featuring a pod that can be carried by either a lorry or a strange-looking aircraft with wings, as well as propellers.
The company said that the TF-2 is a three-part integrated transportation system which achieves a new level of comfort, convenience, as well as efficiency. With a detachable pod configuration, passengers and cargo are going to have the ability to travel seamlessly to their final destination.
Also, it will not require an airport for takeoff and landing, and it is going to drive on all roads, as well as highways – providing the convenience of true door-to-door transportations.
The CEO of Terrafugia, Chris Jaran, said:
Developing this new technology allowed us to test a few different mechanisms, as well as generate process improvements along the way. Now, we are at the critical point in which we can actually implement the best design features, based on years of flight, as well as drive testing.
This is also going to improve function, safety, and above all aesthetics for the optimal flying and driving experience.
The key specifications of TF-2 are the following:
- It will have a cruising speed of 200 miles per hour (322km/h), together with a 500-mile (805km) flight range.
- TF-2 is going to have fold-out wings with twin electric motors which are attached to each end.
- These motors actually allow the vehicle to move from a vertical to a horizontal position, and are going to be powered by a 300hp engine.
- The planned four-person TF-X is going to be a semi-autonomous and use computer-controlled so that passengers will have the ability to simply type in a destination before taking off.
- These vehicles will also be capable of automatically avoiding some other air traffic, bad weather, as well as restricted and tower-controlled airspace.
- The TF-2 vehicle is going to have the ability to recharge its batteries either from its engine or by plugging into electric car charging stations.
Featured Image Credit: Freepublic