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Terrafugia considering TF-X, a vertical-takeoff flying car (video)

Zach Honig
05.06.13
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We've been hearing about Terrafugia's Transition "flying car" for, well, far too long, considering that it has yet to even venture beyond the prototype phase. The prop plane / roadworthy vehicle combo has its fair share of fans -- some of them with deep enough pockets to place an order -- but it won't be making its way from your garage to the runway anytime soon. With that in mind, the company's TF-X vertical-takeoff model is even less likely to see the light of day, but it's being considered nonetheless.

The plug-in hybrid-electric aircraft would take off and land vertically, like a helicopter -- if the DOT and FAA allowed it, you could literally fly over the highway whenever you run into traffic, though we can't imagine that pilots will ever get the green light to take off from public roads, even if the TF-X becomes a reality. For now, it exists only in the minds of Terrafugia's ambitious team, a few image renders and a minute-long animated demo, which we've embedded for your viewing pleasure after the break.

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Terrafugia Shares TF-X Vision

Woburn, MA (May 6, 2013) – Terrafugia Inc., the developer of the Transition® street-legal airplane, announced its vision for the future of personal transportation. Building on its experience with the Transition® program, Terrafugia has begun feasibility studies of a four-seat, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) plug-in hybrid-electric flying car, the TF-X™. Incorporating the state-of-the-art in intelligent systems, fly by wire controls, and currently available technology, the TF-X™ will further increase the level of safety, simplicity, and convenience of personal aviation.

"This is the right time for us to begin thinking about the future of the company beyond Transition® development," says Terrafugia CEO/CTO Carl Dietrich, "We are passionate about continuing to lead the creation of a flying car industry and are dedicating resources to lay the foundations for our vision of personal transportation." Terrafugia's design team is excited to be looking ahead to TF-X™ development activities as the Transition® program shifts from research and development to certification, production, and customer support activities. The Transition® serves as a Proof of Process for TF-X™ development and commercialization through the many technical, regulatory, and usage challenges it has overcome.

By directly addressing congestion and other transportation challenges currently being faced internationally, widespread adoption of vehicles like the Transition® and TF-X™ could result in significant economic benefits and personal time savings. Preliminary conversations with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about the TF-X™ concept have demonstrated their willingness to consider innovative technologies and regulatory solutions that are in the public interest and enhance the level of safety of personal aviation. Terrafugia is excited to be nearing production of the Transition® and continuing to push the envelope of personal transportation. Dietrich adds, "Terrafugia is about increasing the level of safety, simplicity, and convenience of aviation. TF-X™ is an opportunity to provide the world with a new dimension of personal freedom!"

Terrafugia (terra-FOO-gee-ah), based in Woburn, MA, is a growing aerospace company founded by pilot-engineers from MIT and supported by a world-class network of advisors and investors. The company name is Latin for "escape the earth." Terrafugia's mission is to build practical flying cars. More information is available at www.DrivenToFly.com

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