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Terrafugia TF-2A

 

TF-2A
Terrafugia
Woburn, Massachusetts, USA
www.terrafugia.com

Five MIT graduates founded Terrafugia in 2006 and it has been reported the company has over 100 employees as of 2020. On November 13, 2017, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (China) purchased Terrafugia.

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group also owns: Geely Auto (gasoline automobile manufacturer), Geometry (100% electric automobile manufacturer), Link & Co. (gasoline automobile manufacturer with a heavy focus on digital connectivity inside the vehicle including internet and cloud services), Proton (gasoline automobile manufacturer), Lotus, Volvo, Polestar (100% electric high-performance car manufacturer), Cao Cao (ride hailing service), London EV Company (which was the London Taxi Company with the iconic black taxis and are now hybrid-electric), Yang Cheng Auto (producing clean commercial vehicles such as buses, semi-trucks, etc., either powered by 100% electric or by methanol) and Mitime private education, sports and tourism.

Terrafugia has recently made a sub-scale prototype which first flew in mid-December 2019 to validate the design of the new TF-2A all electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Some of the sub-scale model specifications are the following: A wingspan of 4.5 meters (14.8 ft), maximum take-off weight of 60 kg (132 lb), and a cruising speed of about 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph). The aircraft's shape was based on the tiger shark. Flight testing begun on December 26, 2019 with the sub-scale prototype and will use the flight data to validate the flight worthiness of the aircraft and to refine the final shape of the aircraft.

The full-scale TF-2A eVTOL aircraft was announced on June 22, 2020 and has eight lift-propellers and one rear pusher-prop for forward flight, a cruise speed of up to 180 km/h (112 mph), a maximum range of 100 km (62 miles), capacity for two passengers and luggage, a maximum payload weight of 200 kg (441 lb) and can take off and land like a helicopter or an airplane.

When compared to its petroleum powered cousins, the TF-2A eVTOL aircraft has lower operating costs, lower noise, more energy savings, environmentally friendly (no emissions), has a more comfortable ride and has a higher safety factor than non-electric aircraft, through the redundancy of critical components. In addition, the vertical propellers are higher than most passengers, at a height of 2,030 mm (~ 6 ft, 8 in), keeping ground crew and passengers safe from hitting their head of the VTOL propellers. 

While the TF-2A aircraft will initially require a pilot to fly the aircraft, the company is planning for a future autonomous piloting system for the aircraft, for urban air mobility (UAM). The company is currently hiring. For more information on Terrafugia's other aircraft, please see the Terrafugia TF-XTerrafugia TF-2Terrafugia TF-2 Tiltrotor, and TF-2.0 Lift + Push aircraft pages.

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: eVTOL
  • Piloting: 1 pilot now and in the future, the aircraft is slated to be autonomous
  • Passengers: 2 + luggage
  • Cruising speed: Up to 180 km/h (112 mph)
  • Maximum range: 100 km (62 m)
  • Cruise altitude: 3,000 m (9,843 ft) 
  • Payload: 200 kg (441 lbs)
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 1,200 kg (2,646 lbs)
  • Pusher propeller: 1
  • VTOL propellers: 8
  • Power source: Batteries
  • Height of vertical takeoff and landing propellers: 2,030 mm (~ 6 ft, 8 in)
  • Windows: Large windows for spectacular views for passengers
  • Wing: High wing, 4.5 meters (14 ft, 9 in) wide
  • Fuselage: Composite
  • Tail assembly: Twin boom tail
  • Landing gear: Tricycle fixed wheeled landing gear
  • Safety feature: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors or propellers fail, the other working motors and propellers can safely land the aircraft. The winged eVTOL also allows for landing like a glider, if there was a partial or full catastrophic power failure. 

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