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Flying car by Terrafugia gets electric upgrade

The TF-X is a plug-in hybrid electric flying

The TF-X is a plug-in hybrid electric flying vehicle being developed by Woburn, Mass.-based Terrafugia. (Credit: Terrafugia)

The Jetsons wouldn't even be able to fathom this technology.

Terrafugia, the Woburn, Mass.-based aerospace company that unveiled a car doubling as an airplane at last year's New York International Auto Show, introduced plans for a plug-in hybrid electric flying car earlier this week.

The four-seat, fixed-wing vehicle will be able to fit into standard single-car garages, drive legally on roads and highways, take off vertically with just 100-feet of clearance and fly for 500 miles on a single charge.

The company has already engaged the Federal Aviation Administration in initial conversations around the planned vehicle, dubbed the TFX, according to Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich. With just five hours of training, the average consumer should be able to successfully pilot the vehicle, thanks largely to a whole host of automated technologies being nurtured by the FAA.

Of course, the average consumer will likely need unusually deep pockets to get their hands on the vehicle. The flying car Terrafugia introduced at the auto show is expected to cost about $279,000. That vehicle, named the Transition, utilizes a 23-gallon tank of automotive fuel and has already been tested on roads and in the air (from the airport in Plattsburgh, N.Y.). It's even earned government exemptions that facilitate its unique construction.

The Transition has garnered $10,000 deposits from more than 100 prospective customers, according to Terrafugia. It could be available for sale as soon as early 2015.

But the Transition is far less practical than the planned TFX hybrid. Pictured at right, the Transition has just two seats, requires a full runway, measures seven and a half feet wide and nearly 19 feet long and looks the part of a grounded plane, as opposed to the cleaner, more futuristic aesthetic of the forthcoming TFX.

Terrafugia said it expects an eight- to 12-year development window for the TFX. Watch a video detailing the plans below. 

Tags: Technology , auto innovations , Terrafugia , flying cars , the Transition , TFX

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