The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Terrafugia is developing a flying car called the Transition, as well as a larger eVTOL aircraft called TF-2. The Transition will reportedly be priced at around $400,000. The company has published very few details about the performance and specifications for either product. 

In mid-2018, Terrafugia abandoned an earlier plan to develop the TF-2 as a vectored-thrust tiltrotor design. Current plans called for a "lift and cruise" design, which features four vertical propellers and a pusher prop at the rear of the fuselage. The aircraft is intended to operate in conjunction with a ground vehicle from which pods carrying cargo or up to four passengers would be loaded and offloaded.

In January 2020, Terrafugia's Chinese majority shareholder Geely made an internal announcement about the specifications for a new, smaller, model called TF-2A and this was leaked via social media. The company declined to comment on the information released, but a spokesman did confirm that Terrafugia's China division is leading the development of an eVTOL product and has flown a sub-scale model of the TF-2A.

Outlook

Our objective assessment of this program’s probable success.

FutureFlight assesses the probability of success for a new aircraft program by considering the following criteria:

  • Total investment funds available in proportion to the anticipated cost of getting an aircraft certified and in service
  • A company’s in-house capability (in terms of numbers of engineers, technical staff, and customer support teams)
  • The past experience of the company and its senior leadership in developing aircraft
  • The caliber and past experience of key program partners
  • Whether key aircraft systems have been selected and are available for use
  • Whether the preliminary design review has been completed
  • Whether the design for the full-scale prototype has been completed
  • Whether the type certification process has been formally initiated with an appropriate regulator
  • Whether the company has achieved a first flight with a full-scale prototype
  • The number of hours logged in a flight test program
  • Whether type certification has been achieved
  • The number of orders and commitment received for the aircraft
  • Whether the company has adequate facilities to begin series production of the aircraft
Our Methodology

Terrafugia was formed back in 2006. Its aviation plans appeared to gather some fresh impetus in November 2017 when China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group acquired the U.S. company. However, the company has still not published a clear timeline for how it intends to achieve its objective of having the Transition flying car in production by 2019 and the TF-2 eVTOL aircraft in service by 2023. Reports that a sub-scale model of a smaller TF-2A design has been flown in China suggest that some progress has been made, but the company continues to refuse any requests for further information.

Terrafugia Models

TF-2A Specifications

Optionally-piloted vtol Lift + Cruise

Performance

  • Passenger Capacity
    2
  • Range
    62 mi
  • Cruise Speed
    112 mph
  • Powerplant Type
    propeller
  • Power Source
    electric
  • Endurance
    n/a
  • Max Altitude
    n/a
  • Takeoff Distance
    n/a
  • Landing Distance
    n/a
  • Empty Weight
    n/a
  • MGTOW
    n/a
  • Payload Weight
    440 lb

Dimensions

  • Length
    n/a
  • Width
    n/a
  • Height
    n/a
  • Wingspan
    15 ft

In early January 2020, a social media leak from within Terrafugia's China division revealed that the company had flown a sub-scale model of the TF-2A. This was confirmed by the company, which refused to confirm---but did not deny---leaked specifications and performance details for what appears to be a smaller version of the TF-2 model.

The design features eight vertical lift propellers and a single rear pusherprop. Like the larger TF-2, the 2A features a high wing, but it also has a twin-boom tail section.

Key Personnel

Chao Jing is CEO of Terrafugia.
Chao Jing

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)