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By 15 November 2017 | Categories: news

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If thoughts of flying cars struck you as a flight of fancy, buckle up. We recently reported on Uber’s move to have flying taxis ready for testing by 2020 in partnership with NASA. Now Volvo’s parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group based in China, has snapped up flying car manufacturer Terrafugia Inc.

This US-based company was formed in 2006 by five MIT-graduates and focuses on “innovation, engineering and production of flying cars and future technologies”. Terrafugia believes they are on track to deliver its first flying car as soon as 2019, with what they claim to be the world’s first VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) flying car being commercially available by 2023.

Their car/plane hybrid, The Transition, can fit in a standard garage and runs on regular petrol. Give it a runway to take off on and it can reach speeds of 169 km/h. It’s VTOL car, the T-FX has a range of 800 km and a cruise speed of 320 km/h. The company believes that the T-FX will not require a pilot’s licence, rather a regular driver’s licence, although training is required. Check its introduction video below.

Airbus has its own project going with its vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicle called Vahana. Having now moved into the new Pendleton Hangar at the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport, the all-electric Vahana is set to start its first full-scale test flights. Airbus has previously stated that VTOL vehicles don't require runways since they can take-off and land like a helicopter, with speeds attained similar to a fixed wing plane.

Before we’ll see flying cars in any regular capacity, a number of regulatory barriers will have to be crossed first, which could just prevent any full-scale adoption in the near-future.

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