The company behind the first FAA approved “roadable aircraft” – the Terrafugia Transition – has been selected to contribute to DARPA’s Transformer (TX) Project, a program that aims to bring flying car technology to the battlefield.
Terrafugia will subcontract to one of two winning teams under phase one of the program which focuses on creating a conceptual design for a four person cross between a Humvee and a helicopter for use in insurgency, reconnaissance, medical evacuation and logistical supply.
DARPA’s US$65M Transformer (TX) program calls for a vertical-takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicle that can travel 280 miles by land or air, carry up to 1,000 pounds and offer control to non-pilots through the use of semi-automated flight-control systems.
The first phase of the program will run over the next 12 months with the aim of creating a design for both a prototype and a production vehicle. A working prototype is expected to materialize as early as 2015.