Flying Car Prototype Turning Science Fiction Into Reality

Thursday, 01 May 2014 08:30 AM

By Nick Sanchez

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Flying cars figure into nearly every futurescape, from "Blade Runner" to "Back to the Future," and a new company promises us our Delorean is just around the corner.

In 2009, Terrafugia (Latin for "escape from Earth") created a flying prototype car called the Transition, a $280,000 street-legal vehicle that ran on unleaded gas and flew successfully in and out of a New York airport, according to NBC News. Now the team comprised of MIT grads says they're evolving the proof of concept to the next stage with a new car, the TF-X.

Unlike the Transition, the new TF-X doesn't need airports or even runways for takeoff and landing. Instead, it comes equipped with twin swiveling propellers that allow for vertical takeoff and landing. Once it reaches roughly 100 feet, the propellers swivel forward to thrust the car headlong into the wind as the jet engine kicks in to complete the takeoff.

Terrafugia estimates that the TF-X could reach a top cruising speed of 200 mph with a 500-mile range. That means no trips from L.A. to NYC just yet, but L.A. to San Francisco would be no problem.

Perhaps the most ambitious part of the project is the company's assertion that they could make the plane-car so easy to pilot that it would require only five hours of training — a mere fraction of the hours required for the most basic pilot licenses. They plan to achieve this by having an enhanced autopilot system that allows a computer to help drive — sort of an airborne version of Google's self-driving terrestrial-only prototypes.

Editor's Note: Sign up for Free Intelligence Reports

The powertrain for the TF-X includes plug-in hybrid capabilities, producing 1,500 horsepower from the two propellers. As with ground-bound hybrids, an on-board gas tank would help keep the batteries charged.

The company expects the development of the TF-X to be finished in 8 to 12 years.



Editor's Note: Sign up for Free Intelligence Reports

Related Stories:


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Michael Hanline Freed After 1980 Murder Conviction Overturned

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 15:34 PM

Michael Hanline, who was convicted of murder in 1980, was released on bail Monday after prosecutors said they are no lon . . .

Houston Dog Stuck in Jug for Weeks Rescued, Finds a New Home (Video)

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 14:37 PM

A family near Houston saved a 5-month-old dog that was stuck in a jug after trying for weeks to catch the stray. . . .

Heidi Montag, She of 10 Plastic Surgeries in a Day, Says No More

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 12:46 PM

Heidi Montag, the former reality star of "The Hills" who once had 10 plastic surgeries in a day, is promising no more su . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved