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Up, Up, and Away!
posted on Sep 30 2014 by Gabe Grover
Tired of being stuck in traffic? Tired of seeing the world from the same perspective? Well, worry no more, an American corporation named Terrafugia is doing it's best to change that. Terrafugia were founded in 2006, and have since, released a car/plane hybrid called ‘Transition Roadable Aircraft’.
To look at, Transition can be somewhat of an eyesore. But recently, Terrafugia announced the TF-X, which is absolutely magnificent to see, it seamlessly integrates its aircraft technologies into a form of a car, well similar to a car…
To begin, how does TF-X work? TF-X is a VTOL vehicle (Vertical landing and takeoff), meaning runways are not necessary. This works through a pair of 600hp electric motor pods situated on each side of the vehicle produce 1 megawatt of energy to propel itself into the air vertically. Each pod consists of 16 separate motors to ensure safety if one malfunctions. Once in the air, the motor pods fold forward at which point the electric motor and 300hp engine co-operate, at this point, the engine recharges the motors and when at cruise speed, the propellers fold to reduce drag. TF-X has a top speed of 200mph, and is able to travel up to 500 miles non-stop at top speed, enough to go from Glasgow to Brighton!
Then comes the question, how convenient is the TF-X, well, you have no clue… TF-X is said to handle similarly to a car, and Terrafugia have stated that it will only take the average driver 5 hours to learn how to operate the vehicle. It will carry up to 4 people offering carlike comfort, will fit into a standard single car garage, and will be able to drive on roads and motorways.
Then comes safety, you would’ve thought that this contraption would be an absolute death-trap, but on the contrary, Terrafugia have stated that statistically, TF-X is safer than a road car. It features an array of safety features that’ll be sure to protect you from anything that could possibly happen. It automatically avoids restricted air space, air traffic and bad weather. Has a backup full vehicle parachute system which can be activated by the pilot in a case of emergency. If the driver declares an emergency, TF-X will automatically notify the authorities, and land the vehicle in the nearest suitable area, and if the pilot becomes unresponsive, TF-X will immediately begin to land at the nearest airport.
There’s no live action footage of the TF-X, only a CGI (computer generated images) video released by Terrafugia that shows its features. It’s price has not been announced, but on their website, Terrafugia say that the TF-X’s cost will be on par with that of a high-end luxury car.
A specific release date has not yet been confirmed, but Dr. Carl Dietrich, (one of the founders of Terrafugia) believes they’ll begin shipping the car/plane 6 years after the release of ‘Terrafugia Transition’, in 2021.