Dull? No – Volvo says its cars will be f ly­ing in just 2 years

Scottish Daily Mail - - Life - By James Salmon Trans­port Edi­tor

FOR years it was best known for build­ing safe but bor­ing cars.

Now Volvo is promis­ing to make the dream of never be­ing stuck in traf­fic jams a re­al­ity.

It aims to bring the first fly­ing car to the US mar­ket in 2019 and the world’s first ver­ti­cal take-off and land­ing ve­hi­cle in 2023.

Volvo’s par­ent com­pany, China-based gi­ant Geely, has bought the fly­ing car de­vel­op­ment com­pany Ter­rafu­gia which sees Bri­tain as a key mar­ket.

Since it was formed by grad­u­ates from the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy in 2006, Ter­rafu­gia has been de­vel­op­ing fly­ing cars and built sev­eral work­ing pro­to­types.

Li Shufu, chair­man and founder of Geely, said: ‘Our in­vest­ment in the com­pany re­flects our shared be­lief in their vi­sion and we are com­mit­ted to ex­tend­ing our full sup­port to Ter­rafu­gia... to make the fly­ing car a re­al­ity.’ A driv­ing li­cence will suf­fice for the firm’s new­est de­sign, the con­cept TF-X, which is ex­pected to cost £180,000 in 2023.

It has fold-out wings, will cruise at 200mph and has twin elec­tric mo­tors at each end. The mo­tors will al­low the ve­hi­cle to take off ver­ti­cally from the street or from a typ­i­cal drive­way. Pi­lots will tap in where they want to go into a com­puter and have the fi­nal say on whether it is safe to take-off or land. Ter­rafu­gia’s ‘street le­gal air­plane’, called Tran­si­tion, was ap­proved last year by the Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion in the US to be cer­ti­fied as a light sport air­craft.

It has two seats, runs on un­leaded petrol, and is de­signed to drive like a typ­i­cal car and to fit in a nor­mal garage. But it also has fold-out wings, con­verts into flight mode in less than a minute and has a max­i­mum al­ti­tude of 10,000 feet.

As well as seat belts and airbags, the cars will have para­chutes and a safety cage and the driver will need a pi­lot’s li­cence.

Would-be buy­ers are be­ing in­vited to pay £7,600 de­posits be­fore its 2019 launch.

Safe: Volvo Es­tate was a fam­ily favourite

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