Military Flying Car to Be Built by Terrafugia

Back in the summer of 2010, news of the US military looking for companies to develop a flying car for its fighting was made public. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced at the time that it is looking for a land and-air hybrid vehicle, which can be used as a means of both road and air transportation/fighting.

Called the Transformer (TX) program, the development of the vehicle has been handed to Terrafugia, the company behind probably the world's single existing and potentially successful frying car for civilian use, the Transition. Terrafugia will work as a sub-contractor to Textron Systems' AAI.

The contract awarded to the company is worth $65 million and calls for the first prototypes to be developed by the first quarter of 2015. According to the DARPA requirements, the vehicle would have to be able to travel 280 miles by land and air, using vertical take-off and landing to increase access to
difficult terrain, and automating flight controls to enable operation by non-pilots.

It will be used by the US military for medical evacuation, avoidance of improvised explosive devices, remote resupply, and Special Forces insertion.

"This DARPA program effectively leverages Terrafugia's core competencies and enables us to grow from a pure GA company to an emerging aerospace company with both general aviation and defense development programs,” said Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich.

Our strong team of Terrafugia engineers with recent experience designing and building a dual purpose vehicle will bring a unique perspective to the TX program that is highly valued by DARPA and the other contractors on our TX team."
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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