Terrafugia has received a commercial exemption for research and development of a four-seat, hybrid-electric, semi-autonomous, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) flying car.
The company says the TF-X is its vision for the future of personal transportation. Because the TF-X program is in the early stages of development, extensive sub-scale flight testing of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), including wind tunnel testing and aerodynamic simulations, is key to refining the vehicle’s design.
Specifically, the Federal Aviation Administration exemption will allow Terrafugia to test the hovering capabilities of a one-tenth-scale TF-X vehicle and gather flight characteristics data that will drive future design choices. Because of the unconventional configuration of the TF-X, Terrafugia says it needs to achieve sustained, stabilized hovering with smaller models before developing a full-size TF-X prototype.
Terrafugia says its engineers are building the TF-X sUAS and preparing detailed test plans to be used for their operations.