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Posts Tagged ‘Terrafugia TF-X’

Volvo Parent Geely Buys Flying Car Start-up Terrafugia

Flying car race heating up fast.

by on Jul.05, 2017

Looking like the flying car in "Back to the Future," a rendering shows the Terrafugia Transition in flight.

The long-held dream of building a flying car may be coming a big step closer to reality now that Geely, the deep-pocket parent of Volvo Cars has acquired Terrafugia, a start-up launched by a group of MIT alum.

Among an assortment of companies hoping to build flying cars, Terrafugia is one of the furthest along, with the Massachusetts-based firm already going airborne with prototype designs. More importantly, the Terrafugia Transition last year won a critical certification from the Federal Aviation Administration that would make it easier for owners to take to the air.

Take Wing!

Funding from Zhejiang Geely could be what’s needed to push Terrafugia over the top, especially as it now faces a range of competitors hoping to take off with their own flying car and flying taxi concepts. That includes Slovakian start-up AeroMobil and Germany’s Lilium, as well as aerospace giant Airbus. Even Uber wants to get into the act, the car-sharing service recently announcing plans to take its operation airborne with a concept it has dubbed Uber Elevate.

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Toyota Only the Latest to Dream of Launching a Flying Car

Patent application shows unique approach to fold-away wings.

by on Sep.11, 2015

A patent application showing Toyota's "aerocar" concept with its foldaway wings.

Wouldn’t it be great to fly home after a long day’s work – quite literally taking to the air rather than getting stuck in a traffic jam? That’s a fantasy nearly as old as the auto industry itself, and now, it seems, Japanese giant Toyota Motor Co. may be working up plans to develop a flying automobile, at least according to a recent patent filing.

How serious Toyota is about building a flying car the company isn’t saying, but it wouldn’t be nearly the first to give the idea a try. Industry pioneer Henry Ford was an early proponent, abandoning the idea of a flying version of his Model T only after the fatal crash of a friend and chief co-pilot. Meanwhile, a group of MIT grads has already begun testing their own flying car concept even as a Defense Department research group explores the idea of sending soldiers into battle on a flying motorcycle.

The Last Word!

Forget Blade Runner, or the Jetsons, for that matter. Few expect to see a world in which commuters routinely take to the air anytime soon. But proponents believe that at least some well-heeled motorists could leapfrog traffic in the not-too-distant future.

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Terrafugia Wants to Build Flying Plug-in Hybrid

Computer controlled, concept would require as little as 5 hours training to fly.

by on Apr.29, 2014

The Terrafugia TF-X would travel 500 miles on a plug-in hybrid power train. However, it's not likely to be ready for another decade.

Flying cars have long been the stuff of science fiction, though plenty of entrepreneurs and visionaries have struggled to make the concept a reality – including no less than the original Henry Ford.

Several projects are now underway and one, started by a group of MIT alumni, is rapidly working its way towards reality. But the former college cronies apparently are dreaming about taking their original Transition flying car a giant leap further into the wild blue yonder with an even more advanced design they’ve dubbed the TF-X.

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To start with, the four-seater would be capable of vertical take-offs and landings. And since it would largely be controlled by a central computer network, the TF-X would, claims a Terrafugia promotional video, require a pilot/driver to have as little as five hours of training, a slight fraction of what it now takes to get the most basic private pilot’s license. (more…)