Have you ever imagined that your car can even fly?
With raising concerns over future mobility solutions, automotive industry is thinking in terms of future fuels, compact cars and electric vehicles. One such future mobility solution which is unique and exciting is the “Flying Car”. A company named “Terrafugia” has come up with this brilliant concept of allowing a car to fly. Imagine a car which can travel on-road as well as fly whenever you want. This will be a dream for many auto enthusiasts.
Terrafugia has made this dream a reality by making a car to transform from a conventional car to a flying car. Terrafugia has the vision of making it as a future mode of personal transportation. We will go through the models of flying cars proposed by Terrafugia.
The first product named “Transition” proves their concept of Flying Cars. The state of the art technology in Transition demonstrates the flying and driving features of the vehicle. The car is powered by 100hp Rotax 912iS Engine .It is equipped with glass cockpits avionic , composite body and various intelligent mechanisms to drive and fly. For driving, similar to conventional cars it has the accelerator and brake pedals and for flying sticks and rudder pedals are involved for flight filled with fun. With its flying feature even you will not be missing your trips due to unfavorable weather.
The engine for driving mode runs on free leaded gasoline and it also drives the propeller required for flight mode. It has different dimensions in flying and driving mode. For driving mode, it is 22m tall, 23m wide and 6m long and for flying mode it is 2m tall, 8m wingspan (wing allows lift of the vehicle) and 6 m long. More wingspan is required in order to achieve lifting of the vehicle during flight mode. The maximum payload is 227 kg with a cruising speed of 160 kmph. Its mileage on-road comes out to be 6.7 l/100km. The range of the vehicle is 660 km with 30 minutes of fuel in reserve.
The electro-mechanical folding allows transition from road to flying car. It has two seats side by side and is rear wheel drive for road. Being a flying car, there might be many people having risks or doubts regarding the safety aspects of the vehicle. From safety point of view, driver can be used for abnormal weather and also the whole vehicle will act as a transition. Also, air bags are also installed at passenger and driver locations. Golf club cargos can also be taken in the vehicle. Avionics required during flying session involves completely modern glass.The factory has been built for Transition and are ready to fly. With more developing concepts of the flying cars, the cost effectiveness will improve.
With “Transition” coming on time,Terrafugia is planning for more range of products. One of which is the TF-X with main focus on safety belts, simplicity and easy usage as personal transport.Electric drive will power the vehicle on road. Like Transition, it also has full vehicle with parachute system and can be used by the driver . When flying, an automatic notification of problems can be directly informed to the authorities. The simple upcoming design will allow any one to learn it in 5 hours.
The flying can be selected as manual or even auto pilot mode. It will be able to accommodate four passengers as conventional comfort cars and can go upto 500 miles without any issues in one go. Its compact structure allows its storage in small garages. A option of auto landing helps in case of emergency landing. If the user is not responsive during flying, the system can go for searching of the landing options and then going on for a safe landing. If the space is not effective, the landing can be aborted immediately.The development of TF-X is expected for 8-12 years. Installed licenses in car will help in increasing the landing zone database.
Transition will finish earlier when compared to TF-X. Imagine having a flying car and going from the top of a long traffic jam on highways. This would make anyone excited about Flying Cars. The main thing to watch is about the safety aspects of the vehicle and their approval by the competent authorities. These vehicles definitely have the potential of becoming the future mobility solutions. With shorter runways required the vehicle can go for take off and landing and thereby ensuring a safe flight.
The transition of the car from road driving to flying condition and vice versa is exciting to watch and allows the wings to open for generating the lift force.