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Geely Unveils Terrafugia TF-2A
  • 09 Jan 2020 05:03 PM
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Geely Unveils Terrafugia TF-2A

Subscale Demonstrator Aircraft
Makes Its First Flight

{unofficial translation from Geely's Chinese original news release}

Geely's “integrated world” three-dimensional smart travel ecology is flourishing steadily in 2019. After the wholly-owned acquisition of Terrafugia in 2017, Geely quickly established the Terrafugia China R&D team to carry out independent research and development, and support the development of urban air mobility.

In mid-December 2019, Terrafugia, a subsidiary of Geely Technology Group, successfully conducted its first test flight of the TF-2A sub-scale demonstrator.

This milestone event marks the official entry of Geely Terrafugia into the field of urban air mobility.

TF-2A concept

With the full support of Geely Technology Group and the unrelenting efforts of the R&D team of Terrafugia, the TF-2A scaled demonstrator completed its conceptual design and ground tests through iterated technical optimization, and has entered the flight test phase. The scaled demonstrator uses pure electric power and is comprised of mainly composite materials. It has a wingspan of 4.5 meters [14.8 ft], a designed maximum take-off weight of 60 kg [132 lb], and a cruising speed of about 100 kilometers per hour [62 mph].

The research and development of TF-2A started in 2019, covering the entire industrial chain from front-end market analysis to design research and development to manufacturing and processing. Geely has industry-leading R&D capabilities in design, simulation analysis, testing and testing. At the same time, Terrafugia has mature full-composite material processing capabilities, and independently completed the composite material body processing and production of the verification machine.

Geely Terrafugia TF-2A has the following performance parameters and characteristics:

  • With 8 lift-propellers and 1 cruise-propeller, it can take off and land vertically without a runway;
  • The payload is 200 kg [440 lb], which can carry 2 passengers and accompanying luggage; the maximum range is 100 km [62 statute miles], the cruising speed can reach 180 km/h (112 mph); it can cover most of the city radius, and it can meet the needs of air travel between adjacent cities.
  • Pure electric power design: compared with traditional helicopters and other aircraft, it has lower operating costs, a lower noise profile, is more energy efficient and environmentally friendly, and has higher safety redundancy;
  • Equipped with an international top-tier flight control system, it will gradually iterate to autonomous flight in the future;

The design and development of TF-2A is aimed at passing airworthiness certification and obtaining type approval. It will be put into commercial operation with the highest safety factor in the future.

TF-2A concept in flight

Relying on Geely’s expansive mobile transportation platform, Geely’s Terrafugia leverages its R&D and operational strength within Geely’s aviation business group, the world’s leading software and hardware development in the transportation sector, and the cooperative efforts from its international aviation suppliers to create the industry’s leading urban air mobility vehicle. In the future, the TF-2A will first tackle the challenge in delivering emergency relief and special logistics. It will later transition to manned aerial tourism and other market segments involving human passengers, ultimately achieving urban air travel.

After the first successful test flight of the TF-2A subscale demonstrator, the Terrafugia team will continue to collect and analyze relevant data, optimize iterative product design, and plans to launch the TF-2A full-scale prototype in the next stage. Geely is determined to work tirelessly to create a market-leading and industry-leading solution to the urban air mobility challenge.

The original Geely press release also includes a video of the subscale demonstrator in flight. 

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