Terrafugia Inc. announced today, May 6, which they’re planning on delivering their flying car, the Transition, to customers by 2015 or 2016. This will end up being a delay of about five years from early expectations.
TF-X is the practical realization of the dream of countless visions of the future; it is designed to be the flying car for all of us. In order to achieve this long-sought-after vision, Terrafugia will focus the TF-X™ program with clear goals that enhance the safety, simplicity, and convenience of personal transportation.
TF-X will carry four people in car-like comfort. (Terrafugia transition holds two)
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.
TF-X™ is a fixed wing street-legal aircraft with electric ground drive and electric power assist on takeoff and landing.
TF-X™ will be able to recharge its batteries either from its engine or by plugging in to electric car charging stations.
TF-X™ will be capable of “auto-landing” at approved landing sites within approved weather limits.
Prior to departure, the operator selects a primary target landing zone and backup landing zones. If the TF-X™ calculates insufficient energy on board to conduct last minute aborts at the first two sites and safely navigate to and land at the third within a 30 minute reserve, or if the forecast weather in any of the three landing zones would be outside the allowable limits, or if any of the selected landing zones are in temporarily restricted airspace (TFRs), departure will not be allowed until appropriate landing zones are selected.
Licensed TF-X™ operators will be allowed to apply to add new landing zones to an approved landing zone database.
TF-X™ will advise the operator if they are approaching restricted or tower-controlled airspace, or unnecessarily increasing the risk to human life (as could happen through carelessness, bad intentions, or if the operator becomes incapacitated). If the operator does not take the appropriate corrective action, the TF-X™ vehicle will automatically notify authorities by “declaring an emergency” on behalf of the operator.
Development of TF-X™ is expected to last 8-12 years
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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