Shanghai (Gasgoo)- Terrafugia, a flying car developer owned by Geely Technology Group, unveiled on June 22 the appearance of the TF-2A’s prototype and said the aircraft's full-scale vehicle will be launched before long.
The TF-2A is an eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) air taxi designed for urban air mobility service, according to Terrafugia. It adopts a composite wing design rather than the multi-rotor or tilted-rotor configurations, in a bid to pass airworthiness certification and achieve reasonable cost effectiveness. For the sake of safety, the TF-2A is equipped with a three-point landing gear which serves a backup when encountering an emergency landing.
With 8 lifts and 1 propeller, the vehicle can take off and land vertically without ground roundway. Thanks to the gull-wing configuration, the rotor blades are located over two meters above the ground, so as to avoid hurting nearby people.
The TF-2A's maximum take-off weight is 1,200kg, and the payload is up to 200kg, which can carry 2 passengers and accompanying luggage. Besides, its top range is 100km, and the cruising speed can reach 180km/h, enabling the vehicle to cover most of a city's radius and complete intercity air travel between adjacent cities. The service ceiling is 3km.
According to Terrafugia's introduction, the TF-2A's exterior is inspired by tiger shark, whose fast movement speed, acute sense of smell and eyesight, and the capability of using ultrasonic waves to perceive surrounding obstacles are in line with the pursuit of high safety for air mobility service.
On December 26, 2019, Terrafugia successfully conducted the first test flight to the TF-2A scale-down verification machine. In May, the company initiated the ground debugging and the reliability test for the frame machine, and carried out its first trial flight in early June at Terrafugia’s Hangzhou base (photo source: Terrafugia) .
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