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Terrafugia's flying car will now drive in hybrid mode

ABR Staff Writer Published 18 July 2018

US-based Terrafugia said that the latest features and systems will be incorporated into the Transition flying car, which is due to come to market in 2019.

The new features in the Transition production vehicle, a two-seat auto and aircraft, including updates to the interior, safety systems, will be incorporated and verified in the next test vehicles. 

Terrafugia claims that each individual component in its Transition flying cars has been designed and engineering with safety and quality in mind.

The improvements will include a hybrid-electric motor,  where a combination of an internal combustion engine and a LiFePO4 (Lithium iron phosphate chemistry) battery will be incorporated.

This battery is claimed to be much safer than other lithium battery chemistries.

The throttle will incorporate a boost feature for a brief burst of extra power while flying.

The interior is also being remodeled with upgraded seats along with a new intuitive user interface and increased luggage capacity.

Upgrades to the safety systems include improved seat belts, airbags and increased visibility with three rearview cameras in drive mode.

Terrafugia is partnering with suppliers for avionics and parachutes. Dynon will be providing EFIS (Electrical Flight Information Systems) and BRS is delivering a full frame parachute system.

Being a hybrid vehicle with automotive and light sport aircraft capabilities, the Transition is being built to comply with both Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards.

Terrafugia CEO Chris Jaran said: “Developing this new technology has allowed us to test several different mechanisms and generate process improvements along the way.

“We are at the critical point where we can implement the best design features based on years of flight and drive testing. This will improve function, safety and aesthetics for the optimal flying and driving experience.”

Last November, Terrafugia was acquired by Chinese automotive company Zhejiang Geely, which also owns Volvo Cars.

As part of the acquisition agreement, Terrafugia will remain domiciled and headquartered in the US and will continue to focus on its mission of developing flying cars. The company is expected to benefit from the group’s expertise in the auto industry.


Image: Terrafugia’s model flying car. Photo: Courtesy of Terrafugia.