Terrafugia is still tweaking the design of its TF-X, an electric, semi-autonomous, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) flying car, which is slated to be tested in 2016 and 2017.
This week, the company announced that it will soon begin flight testing with an unmanned, one-tenth scale model of the TF-X in order to gauge its hovering ability and collect flight characteristic data, which will drive the design choices on the final prototype.
The FAA has authorized Terrafugia to operate small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) in the TF-X configuration for research and development. This exemption was necessary to allow Terrafugia to conduct commercial R&D work with the sUAS, up to an altitude of 400 feet and at speeds under 100 mph.
Terrafugia’s engineers are now building the sUAS TF-X model and detailing plans for the extensive operation.