July 24, 2015

Terrafugia premiers new next generation flying car TF-X™ Outer Mold Line

Terrafugia is excited to premier the new Outer Mold Line for the TF-X™, the four-seat, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) hybrid electric aircraft that will make flying easier and safer than ever before.

The updated Outer Mold Line (OML) design for the TF-X™ was developed in collaboration with Ben Schweighart and Transportation/Automotive Designer Vedran Martinek.

In addition, a one-tenth scale wind tunnel test model of the TF-X™ has been successfully developed based on the new OML, and is currently on display at EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI. The model will be tested at the MIT Wright Brothers wind tunnel, the same tunnel that was used to test models of Terrafugia’s Transition. The wind tunnel test model will be used to measure drag, lift and thrust forces while simulating hovering flight, transitioning to forward flight and full forward flight.

They have a working roadable airplane but are making adjustments and getting FAA approval

In April 2014, 12 two-person test flights had taken place; this was the first time that anyone other than Terrafugia's chief test pilot had flown the Transition. As of 22 August 2014, first customer delivery was hoped for in about 18 months "in the second quarter of 2016."

In December 2014 the company asked the FAA to allow the Transition to be operated at a gross weight of 1,800 lb (816 kg) instead of the light-sport aircraft maximum weight of 1,320 lb (599 kg) and have a stall speed of 54 kn (100 km/h; 62 mph) instead of the category maximum of 45 kn (83 km/h; 52 mph). The company indicated that the increases were required to allow inclusion of structures to meet FMVSS ground operation safety regulations. The company had previously been granted an increase in gross weight of 110 lb (50 kg) and another LSA aircraft, the ICON A5, was granted a 250 lb (113 kg) exemption to meet FAA spin resistance requirements; this new application would increase the Transition's allowed weight by a total of 480 lb (218 kg) or 36%. During consultations the request for the weight increase was supported by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association. Only a few individuals expressed opposition to the request.

In April 2015 the company announced that parts were being built for the third version of the aircraft, and that current planning estimated the first customer delivery after roughly two years.

In a recent TEDxBentleyU talk entitled Faster than a Car, More Convenient than a Plane, COO and VP Engineering Kevin Colburn discussed the impact that Terrafugia’s Transition® and TF-X™ promise to have on the experience of personal transportation. - See more at: http://www.terrafugia.com/news/faster-car-more-convenient-plane-coo-kevin-colburn-featured-tedxbentleyu#sthash.o8FIOS3R.dpuf

SOURCES - Terrafugia, Wikipedia, TedX, Youtube

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