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Flying cars: Needed or possible?

June 11, 2016 Headline News No Comments Print Print Email Email

The arguments for flying cars are style, convenience and cost savings; the stuff of fiction for 100 years. Park a car and a plane together in your garage.  If it converts automatically between modes, you have the convenience of not needing to park, and get into a separate plane – you just fly out through the airport. Vertical take-off would mean no airport. However, pure electric cars and aircraft currently have very large, heavy batteries. Even with these, range is mostly only around 1-200 miles individually if the vehicle is affordable. Put them together and performance is worse.

Flying cars using airports

As flying car developer Terrafugia said at a recent event, “for flying cars, there is conflict”. Its own compromise is a hybrid sacrificing silence and day/ night operation for range. Cruising speed will be 200 mph (322 km/h), along with a 500-mile (805 km) flight range. Two electric motors with two rotors allow the TF-X to move from a vertical to a horizontal position, and will be powered by a 300 horsepower engine. Thrust will be provided by a ducted fan.

Terrafugia says its aim is to provide “true door-to-door transportation” with the vehicle capable of being parked in a home garage like an ordinary car… Read more here.

Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman, IDTechEx

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