I think it’s pretty safe to say that people around the world have dreamt about flying vehicles of one kind or another ever since the first cars rolled off the assembly line. The latest company to take a stab at turning fantasy into reality? Terrafugia.
As you may recall, the company first showcased a prototype flying car back in 2009 and recently stepped up its promotional efforts with a new vehicle at the New York auto show in March of 2012.
Indeed, the company is now looking to the future with a flying car dubbed the TF-X. The difference between this car and its previous prototype? The TF-X concept will take off and land vertically, as it is equipped with tilting rotors that are quite similar to the US military’s Boeing V-22 Osprey.
The TF-X is slated to be street legal, assuming that it ever hits the road, of course. The company says the tiltrotor flying car would be a hybrid-electric aircraft capable of both takeoff and landing vertically like a helicopter. Basically, think of a four-seat aircraft that offers fly by wire controls.
Additional key specs include twin 600 hp electric motors and a larger ducted propeller in the rear for forward momentum. During forward flight the electric motors team up with 300 hp engine. Once the aircraft is off the ground, the electric rotors fold up and the vehicle flies like a normal aircraft, albeit with a range of 500 miles at speeds of up to 200 mph.
This is certainly a very cool concept, although I have a difficult time believing it will ever come to market.