The automotive sector has seen countless advancements over the years, with driverless cars being one of the most significant innovations in recent times to be backed up with genuine testing and prototypes. However, there is always going to be the question of “What’s next?” One company, Terrafugia, has been working on a prototype, named the TF-X, of what could be the next advancement for automobiles: the flying car, once confined to science fiction.
Terrafugia has remained at the forefront of developing flying vehicles for many years now. The TF-X was first conceptualised in 2006 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology aeronautics and management graduates, and was first announced to the public two years ago. It appears that progress has been made, with the recent unveiling of an animation that shows how such a vehicle would work. The TF-X incorporates twin electric motor pods and is equipped with two wings and two helicopter-style propellers to allow it to attain flight.
Terrafugia state that such a car could carry four passengers for five hundred miles, and move at rates of up to two hundred miles per hour. The company also announced that a one-tenth scale model of the concept will be tested at MIT’s Wright Brothers wind tunnel, measuring drag, lift and thrust forces. This will help to simulate hovering flight, transitioning to forward and full-forward flight.
Of course, the company doesn’t detail just how much the invention would impact on the world. Indeed, there would probably have to be a complete overhaul in how both planes and cars would travel, not to mention changes in road function and layout for takeoffs and landings. Nobody knows when the concept could become reality, though Terrafugia believe that they are between eight and twelve years away from releasing their flying vehicle.
As of now, the TF-X is merely a concept which has only just begun to be tested. The idea of a flying car has been around for several decades and it is likely that the idea will remain in the public consciousness for a fairly long time. Depending on how well the testing goes, we may see the British automobile industry embrace flying cars before too long. Whatever happens, our team at John Gibson Associates will continue our role in automotive recruitment.