Vertical takeoff flying car
concept unveiled


Terrafugia TF-X

News: a flying car capable of vertical takeoff and landing is being developed by the makers of a two-seater aircraft that turns into a car (+ movie).

Massachusetts-based company Terrafugia has announced it is working on a concept for a four-seater vehicle with motorised rotors, which can take off without the need for a runway.

Terrafugia TF-X
TF-X concept

Dubbed TF-X, the vehicle's wings and rotors are designed to fold into the side of the car when it's on the road, making it small enough to park in a standard garage.

Terrafugia TF-X

The ability to take off from standstill would allow owners to take to the air from their driveways. Once in the air, it is expected to be able to fly nonstop for 500 miles.

Terrafugia TF-X

The TF-X probably wouldn't be suitable for escaping traffic jams, however, as it requires a 30-metre-wide clear space around it during takeoff.

Terrafugia TF-X

A working model of the aircraft is expected to become available to purchase within eight to 12 years.

Terrafugia Transition

Meanwhile Terrafugia's earlier flying car concept, the Transition, which last year flew for eight minutes at an altitude of 420 metres during its test flight, is set to become available to buy within two years, priced at £190,000.

Terrafugia Transition

In 2010, Terrafugia worked with Danish industrial designers KiBiSi on the second generation redesign of the Transition.

Terrafugia Transition

Other hybrid vehicles we've featured include a car shaped like a catamaran and designer Ross Lovegrove's idea for bubble-shaped cars powered by solar canopies – see all transport.

Here's more information from Terrafugia:

Terrafugia Shares TF-X Vision

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 programme 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 commercialisation 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.

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.

  • future architect

    I would not be seen dead or alive in one of these.

    • Adam

      You would probably not be seen alive in one of these. I know I wouldn’t.

  • Dan Leno

    Once this stuff comes out, our cities are ruined once and for all. Today, at least all the junk and noise caused by cars remains at street level. Imagine when you won’t have peace even in your 4th floor apartment and the sky as your last resort is occupied by crap.

    Is it even humanly possible that there are still people dumb enough to come up with such stupid proposals in spite of clearly seeing all the evidence of the damage this one single invention has done to our lives so far? This is a shame for humanity and the people behind it should be sent to the madhouse.

  • blah

    Yeah, and there will be a jet pack, a body suit and pill dinners in the trunk. Yay, the future is here (at least the future as imagined in 1950).

  • Emma

    It’s okay everybody, we have 8-12 years for the designers to wake up to themselves. Let’s hope it is shelved by then.

  • Adam

    They could at least have made it realistic in the air and took the time to render the props rotating. Weak!

    • Crack

      Being a sunny day, maybe the shutter speed was set to 6500?

    • The Truth

      If you watch the video the props stop rotating mid flight. So your wrong. Just saying.

      • Chris

        Nothing more ironic than the words: ‘you’re wrong’.

  • LOW

    Superbly hideous.

  • James

    Surely it needs a bigger wingspan to be economical otherwise it would have to be travelling damn fast or hovering all the time. I think the time saved would be outweighed by the cost in fuel.

  • Shannon

    I want one!