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Flying Car Is On Its Way

Massachusetts-based aircraft company Terrafugia is aiming to develop a flying car since 2013. Now, the small prototype of car is ready.The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has just granted them permission to test them. That soon we won't be stuck in traffic jams any more.

Now don’t get too much excited! The version they had developed till now is an autonomous drone, which means that nobody will be in the car. Furthermore, it will be a smaller-scale version than the actual car — about one tenth of the size. Although the car isn’t expected to be available for at least eight years.

Terrafugia has been developing the car since 2013 and unveiled an upgraded version, the TF-X, this past July. Flying Car will travel at a speed of 200 miles (322 kilometers) per hour and a flight range of 500 miles (805 kilometers), anyone will be able to fly from point A to point B in the four-seat, hybrid electric vehicle. It doesn’t even require a runway to takeoff or land. In fact, Terrafugia claims that “operating the TF-X™ should be statistically safer than driving a modern automobile.” It will automatically avoid dangerous zones such as other air traffic, bad weather and restricted airspace. It will also include a full-vehicle parachute system and will auto-land if the “driver” becomes unresponsive.

According to the company’s website, it will fit into our own regular garage and drive like a normal car. “When you want to go into flying mode, the wings will fold out, and twin electric motor pods on the ends will power up and lift the car off the ground using 1 megawatt of power. Two small helicopter-style propellers will provide thrust when needed, and are then folded back in when the car is cruising.”

Although the test version, measuring two feet (61 centimeters) and no more than 55 pounds (25 kilograms), will not fly as high or for as long as the full-scale version, it will help Terrafugia to evaluate the hovering capabilities of the car. “Because of the unconventional configuration of the TF-X, it is vital to achieve sustained, stabilised hovering with smaller models before developing a full-size TF-X prototype,” Aero News Network reported.
Watch the animated video of the full-sized car taking off and landing:

Bhakti Dua covers Technology and Automotive industry.

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