Predictions about the future from decades past invariably involved flying cars of some sort, and most of us imagined back in the ’80s that we’d have them by now. Well, we’re almost there – if some serious hurdles in regulation and safety can be crossed. A company called Terrafugia has unveiled the world’s first flying hybrid-electric car, a four-seater that can go from the road to the sky.
About the size of a standard passenger vehicle, the TF-X has electric motors that provide power for takeoff and landing, and a gas turbine for flight. And you don’t have to be a pilot to fly it: it’s semi-autonomous. This flying car is a follow-up to Terrafugia’s ‘Transition’, which has already been tested.
Of course, there are some caveats. First of all, the TF-X needs an open space measuring at least 100 feet in diameter in order to take off, and most of us don’t exactly have driveway space that large. Furthermore, the company is going to have to prove that their concept is safe. With our roads already clogged and auto accidents a leading cause of death, can we handle filling our skies with vehicles driven by the average Joe?
Over 100 pre-orders for the $279,000 TF-X have already been placed. The wings fold up when not in use, it’s got a full parachute system and the car is expected to have a 500-mile range. Terrafugia CEO says this car could become reality within 8-10 years.