Terrafugia unveils next-gen flying car design
Terrafugia has released specifications and computer graphics of its next generation flying-car design at AirVenture 2010 (Image: Terrafugia)
Terrafugia has released specifications and computer graphics of its next generation flying-car design. The company made use of the world's biggest aviation industry platform – AirVenture 2010 – to detail the future shape of its Transition Roadable Aircraft which sports automotive-style crash safety features, a touch-screen interface, improved wing design and a folding mechanism that can be activated from inside the vehicle... plus sleeker lines than the proof of concept vehicle we've seen previously.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of news last month that the proof-of-concept Transition has been cleared by the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority.
The Transition promises safety on the road and in the air via an energy absorbing crush structure in the nose along with a rigid safety cage, airbags and a ballistic parachute system. The improved wing design includes an optimized airfoil and there's also a pusher propeller with an open empennage that makes efficient use of the 100 hp Rotax 912S mid-mounted engine in flight and is locked in place when driving.
To get around on the ground, the Transition uses rear-wheel drive with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and tuned independent suspension.
Deliveries of the Transition are slated to begin late next year and 80 have already been reserved by way of a $10,000 deposit. A final price has not yet been set, but a tag somewhere in the range of US$190,000 is anticipated.
Visit Terrafugia (which incidentally, means "escape from land" in Latin) for more details.
Terrafugia Transition in brief:
- Max, Vh: 100 kts (115 mph, 185 km/h)
- Cruise, Vc: 93 kts (105 mph, 172 km/h)
- Stall, Vs: 45 kts (51 mph, 83 km/h)
- Range: 425 nmi (490 m, 787 km)
- Takeoff: 1700’ (518 m), over 50’ obstacle
- Gross takeoff weight: 1430 lbs (650 kg)
- Empty Weight: 970 lbs (440 kg)
- Useful Load: 460 lbs (210 kg)
- Fuel Burn: 5 gph (at cruise)
- On Road: 35 mpg
- Useable Fuel: 23 gal (87L)
- Engine: 100 hp Rotax 912S
- Dimensions: On road - 80” (2 m) tall x 90” (2.3 m) wide x 19’ 6” (6 m) long, Flying - 78” (2 m) tall x 26’ 6” (8 m) wingspan x 19’ 9” (6 m) long
About the Author
After a misspent youth at law school, Noel began to dabble in tech research, writing and things with wheels that go fast. This bus dropped him at the door of a freshly sprouted Gizmag.com in 2002. He has been Gizmag's Editor-in-Chief since 2007.
All articles by Noel McKeegan
Every day, I see drivers on the road braking laws left and right. The last thing I\'d want is to have these idiot scofflaws in the skies.
The part that bothers me is the possibility of the wings being dented, dinged and damaged by road debri. Perhaps if they had a way to protect the wings, it could help keep them from being dented, dinged and damaged?
There is a couple \'flying cars\' here that the wings fold into the body of the vehicle and is proteced from being damaged.
It is cool that they are about the only ones that is actually creating and flying a \'flying car\' (or roadable airplane?).
Now I know what to buy Paul for Christmas!
Nice vehicle, i\'m all for it, BUT, My problem is: If you have to take off from a runway at an airport with it, IT\'S NOT A FLYING CAR!!!!!!!!!! It\'s an airplane that can drive on the road. \"A roadable aircraft!\" A flying car has to be able to take off from the raod. If you are stuck in traffic, how do you expect to get to an airport? You should be able to take off from the middle of traffic and fly over everything. THAT would be a \"Flying Car\"!
Great, another flying car, the worst of both worlds. A plane that\'s to heavy and a car that\'s too light. I would like to see designers spend more time making an aircraft that is fully automatic. I.e. Type or say the destination and the plane takes of automatically, navigates on a \"sky highway\" and lands at the destination automatically.
The cruise speed of 172 km/h, stall speed of 83 km/h and fuel burn of 5gph at cruise makes the design very interesting, fuel efficient and safe from operational point of view.
S P S Sabharwal
Spirit of 76: that is my concern as well. There will be no such thing as a minor fender bender. The possibility of major injury and death from any collision will be constant. Flying cars have always been a dream because people would like to get above the traffic of \"everybody else\" on the ground, but if everyone takes to the skies we will find it is far worse in every way.
These things get worse fuel mileage flying than driving ( 5gph at 106mph is 21MPG ). Planes require so much more distance between them that the skies will be overcrowded even if only a small percentage of drivers start to fly. Waits at airports will overtake traffic jam congestion. No place near a populated area will be quiet anymore from the constant buzzing of uncaring people sightseeing or commuting in their slightly driveable and barely flyable car-plane. Commuters will see nothing wrong with living over 100 miles from work because they can fly - and so now they HAVE to fly.
Flying cars makes NO sense to anyone with a little logic. They will be louder, pollute more, cause more congestion, more deaths, and even the people that don\'t fly will suffer the raining debris from mid-air collisions and single vehicle crashes due to undertrained \'pilots\' and/or system failures (which will happen). Then there will be constant noise of low flying planes. They thought Taiwan\'s buzzing mopeds were bad, wait until a dozen 100horse Rotax are in range of hearing whenever you step outside. The world will be a horrible place.
I really hope flying cars die a quick death. We already have too many planes in the sky and the potential for disaster has been demonstrated. Do you really want terrorists to be able to put a bomb anywhere in the world just by stealing a \'car\' from the street and flying it over security barriers into the side of a building? Airports are at least a little controlled. A stolen flying car can take off from a highway at night when traffic is light and do more damage to the nearest big soft target than they could have otherwise do.
NOTHING makes sense about flying cars once even 0.001% of people get them. These are a nightmare waiting to happen. If people want to get away from traffic then we need extensive high speed train systems, not flying cars.
Mark in MI
uh...even a brain-dead idiot can see people would be required to have a PILOT\'S license to \"drive\" one of these things, not a class \"D\" driver\'s license, and with a price tag twice that of a luxury car, they\'re not gonna be on every street corner. You MIGHT see slightly more air vehicles in the air than you do now due to the increased interest of pilot\'s licenses, as more people would like a \"flying car\" or a \"roadable aircraft\" but it would barely be a blip on the radar, not a societal nightmare.
...and as for the \"nothing makes sense\" about flying cars comment, aside from the obvious, it isn\'t about making sense, it is about freedom and innovation, imagination and enjoyment. Oh, and I\'m sure just as many other good reasons as there are people who want one, sensible or not. I don\'t give a d@mn about narrow-minded people\'s view of \"sense.\"
Did anyone notice the blindspot the wings will cause? or that the side mirrors will be useless. Cameras could easily solve the problem while decreasing wind resistance.
Mark from MI your logic is flawed. Have you ever heard of a car? more than 0.001% of the earth\'s population owns cars but they far outweigh the headaches they cause. Things like seatbelts, traffic laws, safety regulations, drivers tests/licenses, DOT, etc. were created to reduce accidents and improve the usefullness of cars.
Yeah, that\'s what we need... the retards who normally hog the roads in their Hummers buzzing around the skies with wild abandon. Bad... very, very bad.
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