Personal flying car a decade away

US manufacturer Terrafugia expects to be producing personal flying cars by 2020.

Personal flying car a decade away

The flying car is already a reality with US-based manufacturer Terrafugia successfully developing and testing a flying car called the Transition, which is expected to go on sale to the public by 2015. The car has wings which fold up when on the road and extend for take-off and flight. Unfortunately, the Transition requires a runway to take-off and land, so it’s not very practical for the everyday user.

Terrafugia’s latest design is the TF-X, which it expects to start selling to the public in the early 2020s. The TF-X is a vehicle made out of carbon-fibre which takes off vertically using electric-powered rotor blades mounted one each side of the car and once in the air, switches to a rear-mounted gas engine.

The designers believe it should take an average driver no more than five hours to learn how to safely operate the vehicle, with the onboard computer controlling the majority of flight directions and landing. The TF-X is expected to fly at speeds up to 320km/h with a fuel capacity of 800km.

Would you consider buying the first version of the flying car if the price was reasonable? Or would you wait until the second iteration to ensure the ‘bugs’ had been worked out?



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    COMMENTS

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    5th Jun 2013
    1:07pm
    Ha ha! Another "dream" project that has zero chance of becoming reality!

    Once you take to the air, you need pilot skills - a comprehensive course that costs thousands, and entails knowing everything about aircraft (which includes being tested on how every single mechanical component of your aircraft works) - intensive training as to weather and weather information (look up METARS and see if you know what they're talking about!) - the ins and outs of air traffic control - plus having to develop skills in aircraft control (takeoff and landing), aerodynamics, and emergency responses.

    In addition, do people understand you can't just land anywhere? Or that every airport charges landing fees, and often other fees as well?

    Then there's the not-insignificant problem of parking your Terrafugia in the shoppers car park, and some clown throws his door open, and smashes it into the side of your Terrafugia!
    This immediately results in an un-airworthy aircraft, a compulsory accident report to aviation authorities as to how this accident happened - and possibly thousands in repairs, just to repair a little dent! - before you can fly again!

    Sorry folks, this Terrafugia is a large corporate masturbation exercise, where the bosses of Terrafugia have extracted millions from investors, so they can have a fabulous play with other peoples money, putting their dreams of a flying car into metal - but which vehicle has no practical application, virtually no buyers, and too many complex problems in mixing driving on the roads, and flying through the air!
    NeilC
    5th Jun 2013
    1:54pm
    Research has already proven that approximately 20% of people have a genetic learning disability, which impairs their driving. The powers-that-be have shown that they are prepared to allow these people to risk our lives on the roads, imagine the utter chaos if they were in the skies. Add those addled with drugs and alcohol and the response of insurance companies if they lobbed through your roof.

    5th Jun 2013
    3:29pm
    Aaron the sauerkraut is a knocker of all things he does not understand.
    Have you got a pilots licence? No .............I have and so so does my 14 year old grandson.
    Go get lost again.
    Hasbeen
    5th Jun 2013
    10:11pm
    Don't think too deeply do you Davey. I'm a jet fighter pilot, well am ex one. WE had enough trouble with highly experienced service pilots having near misses around a carrier, or an airfield. I can imagine people flying in all directions keeping an adequate look out.

    Hell even with the few aircraft around most airports, commercial passenger pilots, controlled & assisted by air traffic controllers have many near misses, & more than a few times when they don't miss each other. It there were thousands up there god help us.

    The minor fender bender at an intersection with a couple of cars, would be 2 crashed aircraft, & damage below as well.
    Monty
    5th Jun 2013
    5:11pm
    Damn, by 2020 I might be getting too old to drive/fly (perhaps not). Would I like to give it a go? ABSOLUTELY!Could I afford one? probably not, but if I could, all things being equal, I would be first in line.
    Julkay
    5th Jun 2013
    6:24pm
    I would like all the problems ironed out first and by 2020 I will be too old so doesn't really matter much to me.
    Abe
    5th Jun 2013
    11:52pm
    There are far too many stupid idiots on the roads now causing untold accidents and injuries.
    My mind boggles when they say these same idiots can learn to fly this supercar in 5 hours. Most of them cannot drive on the road safely with 500 or 5,000 hours. Hope the government sees the light before before legislating this inane idea.


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