The concept of man flying among the birds has been around for as long as one can remember. Everyone in their childhood dream of being able to fly around like birds and go places in their own car just like heroes in cartoons. This dream just came true when Terrafugia’s flying car model got it’s approval for tests in US airspace from US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). If you don’t believe me just read on.
Terrafugia’s Flying Car:
First announced back in 2013, with an upgraded prototype presented earlier this year, Terrafugia Tf-X flying car is the closest the world has gotten to our collective dream of someday commuting via cloud alleys. Now the Massachusetts-based aircraft company has hit its next big milestone, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given it special permission to run in-air tests with an autonomous drone version of its flying car.
Now before you get excited they’ll be testing in US airspace is not only unmanned but also it’s just about tenth of the size of their actual flying car prototype. But that not too bad as these testing is expected to fast-track the R&D phase of their actual, real-life flying car. Their scale model is permitted to reach maximum altitudes of 121 meters and maximum speeds of 160km/h. It can use US air space throughout the country, but the team must be in constant communication with the relevant authorities at all times.
According to the Aero News Network:
“These tests will be crucial to the development of the actual TF-X flying car, due to the aircraft’s unique engineering. because of the unconventional configuration of the TF-X, it is vital to achieve sustained, stabilized hovering with smaller models before developing a full-size TF-X prototype”
Terrafugia says it’s looking at eight to 12 years of development for their flying car and if the TF-X ever makes it to market, it will have a cruising speed of 322 km/h (200 mph) with an 805-km (500-mile) flight range, and will require no runway space whatsoever to take off and land. The four-passenger hybrid vehicle will include rechargeable batteries that could be changed either by its engine itself or by plugging into electric car charging stations. It will be small enough to drive on regular roads and fit in regular garages, and the flying part will be computer operated, so you won’t have to be a pilot to drive this marvel.
Terrafugia on their website explains:
“When you want to go into flying mode, the wings will fold out, and twin electric motor pods on the ends will power up and lift the car off the ground using 1 megawatt of power. Two small helicopter-style propellers will provide thrust when needed, and are then folded back in when the car is cruising.”
Winning approval to get their scale model airborne is keeping Terrafugai’s dream car on track nicely. We’ll just have to wait and see what the next phase will be. Watch out birds here we come. We here at engineering pal have their finger crossed and wish them luck after all who doesn’t need a flying car of there own just like this :