Wow. When we saw this we had to share.
It’s the Terrafugia TF-X, a four passenger “sedan” powered by propellers on each wing that convert from vertical to horizontal orientation depending on direction. In other words, the propellers are horizontal on take off and landing, similar to helicopter blades. Once in the air however, they rotate for a vertical oriental to propel the plane through the air. The propellers are powers by 16 electric motors and a gasoline engine recharges the battery pack during flight. The vehicle will reach 200 miles an hour, and can last about 500 miles.
If you ask us, the consumer frenzy over this sedan-like airplane will make the iPod 5 lines a distant memory. The wings fold up so vehicle can fit into a garage. Also, Terrafugia insists that only 5 hours of training is needed before the average suburbanite can back out of the driveway and do the vertical lift into air traffic lanes.
Unfortunately, regulations and testing delay this super-gadget’s release for another 8 – 12 years. Imagine the government requirements that need to be met to make not only the plane safe, but to create infrastructure required to run a few hundred (thousand?) of these over America’s cities. The number of precisely-trained air traffic controllers would increase by who knows how much.
For now, we’ll stick with our electric vehicles, but the name Terrafugia won’t leave our minds anytime soon.