Terrafugia TF-X Revealed

AUG 6 2015 BY MARK KANE 33

Terrafugia TF-X will fit inside a single car garage

Terrafugia TF-X will fit inside a single car garage

Terrafugia announced TF-X, a “flying car” with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

This street-legal airplane has four seats and can drive like a normal car. It can also perform vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and fly with range of over 500 miles (800 km).

But for now it’s just concept (obviously) with a small model in one-tenth scale. Production could begin early next decade (2021), although we won’t hold our breath.

Price is unknown now, but three times a well-equipped Tesla Model S for one TF-X would be a reasonable estimation.

“We are thrilled to share new image and video media that reflect our updated Outer Mold Line (OML) design for the TF-X™, developed in collaboration with Ben Schweighart and Transportation/Automotive Designer Vedran Martinek. Visit our Image Gallery to view our new stills, and watch the new video below.

In addition, a one-tenth scale wind tunnel test model of the TF-X™ has been successfully developed based on the new OML, and is currently on display at EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI. The model will be tested at the MIT Wright Brothers wind tunnel, the same tunnel that was used to test models of Terrafugia’s Transition. The wind tunnel test model will be used to measure drag, lift and thrust forces while simulating hovering flight, transitioning to forward flight and full forward flight.”

“These new developments represent exciting, significant progress on the path towards the realization of Terrafugia’s revolutionary vision for the future of personal transportation. For more information on the TF-X™, please click here, and to stay up to date on the latest Terrafugia news, please sign up for our email newsletter below.”

Terrafugia already has some experience in flying cars as they built Transition – ICE aircraft/car, without vertical takeoff and landing capability (see last video below).

Artist renderings of the Terrafugia TF-X

Artist renderings of the Terrafugia TF-X

Artist renderings of the Terrafugia TF-X

Artist renderings of the Terrafugia TF-X

Artist renderings of the Terrafugia TF-X

Artist renderings of the Terrafugia TF-X

Terrafugia TF-X is a plug-in hybrid on the ground

Terrafugia TF-X is a plug-in hybrid on the ground

Terrafugia TF-X drives like a normal car

Terrafugia TF-X drives like a normal car

Terrafugia TF-X will have a range of over 500 miles (800 km)

Terrafugia TF-X will have a range of over 500 miles (800 km)

“Terrafugia is excited to premier the new Outer Mold Line for the TF-X™, Terrafugia’s vision for the future of personal transportation. The TF-X™ will be a four-seat, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) hybrid electric aircraft that makes flying easier and safer than ever before. Visit terrafugia.com for more information.”

Terrafugia Transition in action in 2013:

Terrafugia TF-X Goals:


  • Operating a TF-X™ vehicle should be statistically safer than driving a modern automobile.
  • TF-X™ vehicles will be capable of automatically avoiding other air traffic, bad weather, and restricted and tower-controlled airspace.
  • TF-X™ will have a backup full-vehicle parachute system which can be activated by the operator in an emergency if the operator believes the TF-X™ to be incapable of auto-landing.
  • If a TF-X™ operator declares an emergency (which will automatically notify authorities of the situation), the TF-X™ can be landed in non-approved landing zones.
  • If the operator becomes unresponsive, TF-X™ would automatically implement an emergency auto-land at the nearest airport.


  • Learning how to safely operate a TF-X™ vehicle should take an average driver no more than five hours.
  • TF-X™ will give the operator significant freedom in flight – controlled in a manner similar to steering a car.
  • TF-X™ will be able to fly in either “manual” or “automatic” modes between approved landing zones or airports.


  • TF-X™ will carry four people in car-like comfort.
  • TF-X™ will have a non-stop flight range of at least 500 miles.
  • TF-X™ will fit into a standard construction single car garage.
  • TF-X™ will be able to takeoff vertically from a level clearing of at least 100ft in diameter.
  • TF-X™ will be able to drive on roads and highways – providing true door-to-door convenience and an automotive level of weather insensitivity.

In order to facilitate the achievement of this new dimension of personal freedom, the TF-X™ will be priced as low as possible while still allowing Terrafugia to grow to support our customers.  The final pricing will not be set until we are much closer to delivery.  The biggest price driver is the cost of production.  It is likely that TF-X™ will be more expensive than a “normal car” due to the higher costs of the enabling light-weight materials, but with investment in automotive scale production, early studies indicate that it is possible that the final price point could be on-par with very high-end luxury cars of today.  As demand increases, new materials and manufacturing processes will surely be developed and the price may come down further in the distant future.

Vision of TF-X™ Technical Operations:

  • TF-X™ is a fixed wing street-legal aircraft with electric ground drive and electric power assist on takeoff and landing.
  • TF-X™ will be able to recharge its batteries either from its engine or by plugging in to electric car charging stations.
  • TF-X™ will be capable of “auto-landing” at approved landing sites within approved weather limits.
  • Prior to departure, the operator selects a primary target landing zone and backup landing zones.  If the TF-X™ calculates insufficient energy on board to conduct last minute aborts at the first two sites and safely navigate to and land at the third within a 30 minute reserve, or if the forecast weather in any of the three landing zones would be outside the allowable limits, or if any of the selected landing zones are in temporarily restricted airspace (TFRs), departure will not be allowed until appropriate landing zones are selected.
  • If manual operation (sightseeing) or changing weather causes the second backup landing zone to fall outside the range of the limits, the operator will be notified and prompted to select new landing zones within the new restrictions.
  • The TF-X™ operator will have final say over whether an approved landing zone is actually a safe place in which to land, and they may abort the landing attempt at any time.
  • Aborting the third landing at the end of an extended flight would result in the automatic declaration of an emergency and a horizontal (airplane-like) landing at the nearest airport.
  • Normal TF-X™ operations will be conducted only in non-tower controlled airspace (Class E and G) and on the ground.  Operators who wish to operate in tower controlled airspace (Class B, C, or D) can get additional training.
  • Licensed TF-X™ operators will be allowed to apply to add new landing zones to an approved landing zone database.
  • TF-X™ will advise the operator if they are approaching restricted or tower-controlled airspace, or unnecessarily increasing the risk to human life (as could happen through carelessness, bad intentions, or if the operator becomes incapacitated).  If the operator does not take the appropriate corrective action, the TF-X™ vehicle will automatically notify authorities by “declaring an emergency” on behalf of the operator.

Development of TF-X™ is expected to last 8-12 years.  If you wish to be one of the first to own a TF-X™ vehicle, consider reserving a Transition® today.  The Transition® will be delivered long before the TF-X™ is ready, and as loyal Terrafugia customers, Transition® buyers will be given the option to purchase TF-X™ vehicles before the rest of the public.  The knowledge and experience you gain as a Transition® owner will help prepare you for TF-X™, and your feedback on our first product will help us craft the second.

Become a part of the Terrafugia transportation revolution today!

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33 Comments on "Terrafugia TF-X Revealed"

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Yeah, because what we really need are cars that use 10 times as much energy as the current ones…

All I wanna know is, how many cup holders are there?

And no 5th seath?! Hmmph.

Per: “TF-X™ will carry four people in car-like comfort.”

That Bad? Have they ever driven a car on a pot hole filled road? 🙂

So – I guess at least 4 cup holders then!
Actually – I have flown a 6 seat Cessna 210 – at 160 Mph, and it was leaned out to just 8 Gallons Per Hour – which equals all of 20 Mpg! Try that in YOUR Corvette, GM! Better yet – try it in any Mini-Van or SUV!!

(Remember – I was cruising along slowly at just 160 Mph – instead of going full tilt at 190 – 200 mph – which the plane is capable of!) Going Faster always burns up more fuel per mile, than poking along, like I was doing!

This car is more comparable to a Prius, and then 20 mpg is a rather high energy consumption.

What will happen in reality when this becomes commonplace is that people will use more fuel not so much because the fuel burn per km is higher, but because they will travel more distance. Obviously, personal air transport will greatly reduce travel times and people will use that advantage by traveling more, keeping total travel time more or less constant.

Worse still, self driving and self flying cars will make people even less sensitive for long travel times, due to less fatigue and better use of the travel time.

This has happened with modern transport (train, car (can you imagine someone 2 centuries ago having a job 50 km from where they live ?).

It’s 2015, where’s my flying car?

“Where we’re going, we don’t need… roads.” — Doc Brown, “Back to the Future”

I’ll buy it, but only if they throw in an anti-gravity belt at no extra charge.

Oh, and a laser cannon. How else am I supposed to defend myself from sky pirates?

lots of flying cars have come to market before. The standard rule is: “a cross between a car and an airplane is neither a good car nor a good airplane”.

Still looks better than the Toyota Mirai.

Check this one out…

Hmm, can’t see this taking off any time soon, both figuratively and literally.

Can you imagine the insurance costs for this vehicle?

And seeing as how many people won’t even do basic maintenance on their ground-based cars, imagine what happens when they own this thing and the engine fails, or they run out of gas.

Not to mention the potential abuse this will see with terrorists attempting more 9/11-style attacks.

Ash09, you do know that there is something called General Aviation, right? There actually is insurance for such a thing. Terrorists could use small planes now, so why would this be a concern? Might want to give this subject a bit more thought….

From what ive heard, you can’t work on your own plane. A certified mechanic has to do all maintenance. And i’m sure if you can afford the plane, then you can afford the insurance. And if you believe terrorists flew planes into buildings on 911 you’ve got bigger things to figure out.

Oh wow!

Look mom, it’s a real life 9/11 truther in the wild!

Get a picture, but don’t disturb him, they’re harmless unless startled. 😀

In all seriousness, I’d assume any plans for a mass market plane like this would have controls more like an elevator than a plane.

No manual control needed or allowed. Only an emergency stop button.

Run out of gas anxiety!

Fortunately there is a battery onboard to land you safely. Kind of BMW i3 in reverse.

If we believed everything mass media told us, we would still be driving gas cars because electric cars are obviously slow and dont go far enough at all. And the batteries are highly toxic, not recycleable, only last 40,000 miles and cost $20,000 to replace. And the electricity generated by coal is worse for the environment than all the emissions our gasoline cars emit now. I’m not trying to start a 911 debate. I’m just saying don’t believe everything you are told. Do your own research. If we believed everything the media says, the Ev-1 was shelved because it wasn’t a good car and we will all be driving hydrogen cars soon because thats the future.

You know when I knew it was made entirely of bullshit? When they called it a plug-in hybrid VTOL aircraft. What good would a hybrid do any aircraft? Hey, let’s add heavy batteries to *increase the amount of fuel it needs*. What for? Oh yeah, to recover braking energy for use on… uh, take-off. Yeah. That’s it. Oh yeah, and VTOL take-off too, which would require some 3x as much energy than a fixed-wing aircraft to take off, and about 80x as much energy to land. (because most airplanes land at idle or very nearly so… but I bet you didn’t know that, did you?) There are only two types of people that would actually believe this crap. Gullible investors who don’t know anything about how airplanes are designed, work, and fly, and gullible er, potential customers (?) who also have no idea about how airplanes are designed, work, or fly, and simultaneously think this will miraculously cost anything remotely as cheap as a car. But mostly it’s for gullible investors. I seriously doubt this thing is capable of even flying, nevermind flying the way they say it would, or with a hybrid powertrain. Because *actually* designing it that way… Read more »

Boeing has been investigating hybrid planes for some time, among other technologies.


“The study has shown that the hybrid electric engine technology on the SUGAR Volt could potentially improve fuel efficiency and noise, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. The hybrid electric engines would allow for the typical short-range flights to use mostly electric power while keeping a supply of jet fuel on board for longer-range flights.”

The SUGAR Volt concept also uses an extra-large wing, to provide more lift at lower thrust and operate more like a sailplane.

Contrariwise, this concept has small wings only suitable for a high-performance jet aircraft.

The impracticality of the design shown here makes it ludicrous.

BravelilToaster said:

“You know when I knew it was made entirely of bullshit?

“When they called it a plug-in hybrid VTOL aircraft.

“What good would a hybrid do any aircraft? Hey, let’s add heavy batteries to *increase the amount of fuel it needs*.”

Indeed. And let’s put tiny wings on it, to also greatly increase the amount of fuel it will need to fly!

I think if someone sat down and deliberately tried to come up with the most impractical design for an aircraft which he possibly could, he couldn’t do much better than this.

It’s ludicrous to think they’re actually doing scale model testing in a wind tunnel, when the design obviously doesn’t even have something as basic as a practical lift/thrust ratio.

They likely had to limit the wing size to fit the car requirements. It is also less a problem at the relatively high speed they indicate.

Actually an hybrid does make sense because the extra battery is what allows you to give the megawatt for vertical takeoff. The engine of 300 hp would not allow that. Otherwise you would need to have oversized engines like on the V2 Osprey which is even less efficient globally and much more costly.

Another car with Falcon Wings. This will take ages till real production… 😉

And it’ll still make market before the Tesla Model X

Its coming out next month ?!!! 🙂

Great gonna have retards flying around crashing into peoples houses

Shouldn’t we have seen this on the front of Popular Science where all the other flying cars are displayed, coming soon to a dealer near you as soon as they can raise the funding to build them in large quantites.

Yet another SCAM.

I see http://www.moller.com is still alive. They have been having a financial struggle for over 10 years and are now focusing on selling the Nerva 200 saucer shaped model strictly as a flying vehicle, not road-able. I have to admit that the Moller 400 looks more practical than the TF-X, but if the TF-X does actually fly as claimed, it does look nicer.

Ultimately this comes down to funding. If they have say 10x to 100x more $ than Moller, then it could become a reality.

Link for Moller M400

Moller has spent more than $400M to date.

The UK based Falx Air vehicle was nice and an easier hybrid to start with: http://www.popsci.com/military-aviation-amp-space/article/2008-10/personal-tilt-rotor?image=0

That one could also get a real chance of replacing the existing V2 osprey market (and Bell 609) since an hybrid electric system there would make a big difference in reliability maintenance and cost.

On pure efficiency this one is a likely winner: