Terrafugia Announces TF-X Vision Flying Car

Company touts new design’s VTOL capabilities.

TF-X Vision liftoff

TF-X Vision liftoff

** Terrafugia's TF-X Vision**

Terrafugia, the company currently developing the roadable airplane known as the Transition, has unveiled plans for a new flying car.

Dubbed the TF-X Vision, Terrafugia says the roadable airplane’s key features will include the ability to auto-land and take off vertically from a clearing at least 100 feet in diameter. The vehicle will be hybrid-electric and able to recharge its batteries via the aircraft’s engine or by plugging into an electric car charging station.

According to Terrafugia, the TF-X Vision is designed to be “the flying car for all of us,” and should require no more than five hours of training for those seeking to fly it.

The fixed-wing airplane comes equipped with a full-vehicle parachute, has seating for four and is intended primarily for use in Class E and G airspace. The company says the airplane will have a range of 500 nm, but has not yet announced any additional performance figures.

The anticipated development timeframe for the new vehicle is eight to 10 years.

Founded by a group of MIT graduates, Terrafugia began working on Transition, its first roadable aircraft, in 2006. In 2011 the airplane received a variety of design exemptions from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, including relief from the requirement for advanced air bags, traditional tires and laminated automotive safety glass, among others. The exemptions are aimed at assisting the company's attempt to certify the Transition within the LSA category, but they have also raised questions regarding the safety of the vehicle.

Transition flight-testing, which began in 2009, continues. The vehicle comes with a price tag of $279,000, and a certification timeline has not yet been announced.