Terrafugia Plans Follow-On Flying Car


Terrafugia, builders of the Transition flying car, has cut metal on the first hardware for its next project, the futuristic vertical takeoff and landing TF-X.

The roadable aircraft will feature battery-powered, swiveling pods with retractable rotor blades to transition from vertical to horizontal flight, and a 600 hp motor in the rear driving a ducted propeller.


The first proof-of-concept battery pod was unveiled here at EAA AirVenture.

“The Transition is evolutionary. The TF-X is revolutionary, a real disruptive technology,” said TerraFugia spokeswoman Vanessa Blakely. It will be hybrid-powered, with semi-autonomous capabilities. The pods will contain several linked distributed-power electric motors so that the failure of one will not cause a catastrophe.

But don’t expect it yet. “It’s at least a decade away,” she said.

Before then, Terrafugia must raise $30 million to bring the Transition to production. It shouldn’t be hard to attract the funding, she said, as the backlog for about 100 Transitions on order comes to that amount. “We’re just looking for the right investor, one with a long-term view.

The first certified Transition is on track for delivery in May 2016. The aircraft is currently undergoing flight tests with two people, both pilot and passenger, and final detailed design will begin soon. Changes from the proof-of-concept vehicle include such details as making it more insurable as a car. “For example, we’ve made the tail booms replaceable so you don’t have to write off a $279,000 aircraft if it has a fender-bender,” she said. 

Terrafugia's Transition is undergoing two-people flight tests.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Things With Wings?

Aviation Week's civil aviation blog

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.


Sep 18, 2015

The U.S.-Russian Moon Landing That Never Happened (1963) 7

U.S. President John F. Kennedy is well known for the 1961 speech to Congress in which he made the Apollo program a national goal. Less remembered is his controversial offer two years later to cooperate with the Soviet Union on a manned lunar landing....More
Sep 10, 2015

Airbus A380 Is Your Hotel In The Sky (2001) 5

In a September 2001 advertisement, Airbus promised to bring glamour back to passenger travel with its new A380, comparing the double-decker airliner to a hotel....More
Sep 9, 2015

Pratt & Whitney's Record Behind the DC-6 Record (1947) 2

Pratt & Whitney takes to the cover of AVIATION to credit its Double Wasp engines for the DC-6's record transatlantic flight....More
Aug 27, 2015

Aviation Week Lifts Veil On Boeing B-52 Bomber (1952) 22

In 1952, Aviation Week provided the first details on the new Boeing B-52 bomber....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×