Terrafugia is on the verge of manufacturing a state-of-the-art vehicle that brings together the euphoria of both driving and flying. The vehicle is expected to have a price tag of $279,000 in which consumers in the market for the equivalent of a high-end luxury car could afford.
Carl Dietrich, Terrafugia’s co-founder, CEO and CTO, has been working on its prototype since 2006 and his enduring passion for flying makes his dream, a reality.
Carl Dietrich thinks it’s ridiculous that we don’t have these things out there, right now and there is so much potential for an economic benefit to society if we have things like this. There have been a number of studies recently that have quantified the economic impact of traffic congestion just for the U.S. Even at a young age, he wondered why small aircraft weren’t developing as an alternate means of everyday transportation.
While he was completing his Ph.D. at M.I.T in the fall of 2004, Dietrich read about new developments at the Federal Aviation Administration for new types of pilot licenses and a new kind of aircraft certification. This gave his way to
This is the first prototype for the Terrafugia Vision ever surfaced, it’s called the Transition. It was unveiled in 2009.
The Terrafugia Transition is a light sport, roadable amateur-built aircraft/car that can expand or fold up its with just the push of a button. It can fly at the speed of 100 miles per hour with a mileage of 35 to the gallon on the ground.
“One of the biggest problems that pilots face is that flying little airplanes is a very weather-sensitive activity,” said Dietrich. “You may fly somewhere, and the weather changes and you’re stuck. You have to make other travel arrangements. It’s not something you can count on. With the Transition, you can count on getting to where you want to go. It may take a little longer, if you have to drive instead of fly, but you still get there, or you get home.”
The new version from Terrafugia, the TF-X vision is believed to be less expensive? “We’re flying a second-generation prototype, right now,” Dietrich said of the Transition. “But yes, it’s beyond the proof of concept stage.” This is the look of its latest prototype.
TF-X which is a vertical take-off and landing vehicle – will have well equipt computers, a network that provides mechanized navigation, an electric power assist on takeoff and landing, capable of automatically avoiding other air traffic, bad weather, and restricted and tower-controlled airspace and a backup full-vehicle parachute system to use in case of emergency.
Dietrich said, “We are having an influence on the emerging regulatory standards that will be used as basis for certification of future products, “We can actually see a pathway to effect the change that will need to happen to make cars like TF-X actually work.”