Flying car manufacturer Terrafugia has announced that its first production vehicles will come to market in 2019.
Newly added and/or improved features in the 2019 Transition production vehicle – a two-seater car and aircraft – will include updates to the interior, safety systems, motor and flight instrumentation.
These latest features and systems will be incorporated and verified in the next round of test vehicles.
“Developing this new technology has allowed us to test several different mechanisms and generate process improvements along the way,” says Terrafugia CEO Chris Jaran.
“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.”
Each individual component is engineered with safety and quality as the main objective behind every design decision, says Terrafugia.
Improvements to the Transition, with the production prototype completing its first flight in 2012, will include a hybrid-electric motor, as opposed to the petrol engine first tested.
The Transition will now drive in hybrid mode, using a combination of an internal combustion engine and a lithium-iron phosphate chemistry battery.
The Terrafugia team says this battery has proven to be much safer than other lithium battery chemistries.
Other improvements include a throttle that incorporates a boost feature for a brief burst of extra power while flying, a remodelled interior with upgraded seats, an intuitive user interface experience and increased luggage capacity, as well as updated safety systems that include improved seat belts, airbags, and increased visibility, with three rearview cameras available in drive mode.
Terrafugia adds that it is partnering with “state-of-the-art suppliers for avionics and parachutes”.
Dynon is providing the electrical flight information systems and BRS Aerospace is providing a full frame parachute system.
Terrafugia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Geely Holding, the global automotive group that owns several well-known international automotive brands, including Volvo Cars.
Terrafugia was founded in 2006 by five award-winning MIT graduates, with the mission of creating practical flying cars that enable a new dimension of personal freedom.