Massachusetts company to hold flight test for flying car

By @vitthernandez on
TF-X Flying Car
Terrafugia’s vision is for TF-X to “bring a new level of freedom to the personal transit experience.” Terrafugia

Terrafugia, a company established by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) aerospace engineers, will test an unmanned flying car. The company just got the green light from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to hold test flights for its concept flying car.

According to Techninsider, Terrafugia would shrink the size of the test vehicle to only one-tenth of its original model. The TF-X, the planned flying car, looks like a mechanical penguin minus the flightless part. Shaped like a bullet and with a black-and-white colour scheme, the vehicle features side panels that open, reports Slate.

Because the futuristic car uses twin rotors, similar to helicopters, found at the tip of the car’s wings to lift the vehicle to the skies, it does not need a runway for takeoff. After the vehicle becomes airborne, 300-horsepower electric engines and electric motor power it. Once in the air, the rotors fold back and a ducted fan propels the TF-X on air at a cruising speed of 200 mph and a range of 500 miles.

TF-X is a semi-autonomous four-seat hybrid electric flying car that has vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, says Terrafugia’s Web site. Terrafugia’s vision is for TF-X to “bring a new level of freedom to the personal transit experience.” However, it would take several years of testing and improving the flying car before it is sold in the market.

It must first achieve sustained, stabilised hovering with smaller models before Terrafugia develops a full-size prototype. The FAA permit allows flight test at a height of 400 feet and speed lower than 10 mph.

The flying car is seen as a solution to urban cities such as Beijing, Bangkok, Manila, New Delhi and New York that suffer from gridlock.

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