The flying car has been the stuff of science fiction movies and novels, up until now.
The Massachusetts-based aerospace company Terrafugia announced on Sunday that it has begun feasibility studies on the TF-X, a four seat plug-in hybrid electric flying car capable of vertical takeoffs and landings.
"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," said Carl Dietrich Terrafugia CEO in a press release
. "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 (Latin for "escape from Earth") created Transition which flew successfully for the first time in 2009. It is a street-legal vehicle that is made to fly in and out of airports and runs on premium unleaded automative gasoline. In March 2012, the second generation Transition flew for about eight minutes around the Plattsburgh International Airport in New York.
"The Transition serves as a Proof of Process for TF-X development to certification, production, and customer support activities," the Terrafugia press release states.
The advantage to the TF-X over the Transition will be it's ability to take off from anywhere, instead of needing to use an airport. Taking off and landing would be automated, but there will be manual controls allowing the driver to take over at any time.
Terrafugia says that they have begun "preliminary conversations with the Federal Aviation Association" about Transition and TF-X and that they "have demonstrated their willingness to consider innovative technologies and regulatory solutions that are in the public interest and enhance the level of of safety of personal aviation."
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