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China’s Geely testing new Terrafugia aircraft

by Michael Willoughby

China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is testing a new eVTOL aircraft for urban air mobility, the Terrafugia TF-2A, according to a press release in Chinese.

The experiments are being conducted on a small scale prototype.

Geely bought Massachusetts-based flying car company Terrafugia in 2017 before creating a research and development team in China focused on urban air mobility.

“This milestone event marks the official entry of Geely Terrafugia ​​into the field of urban air travel,” the press release says.

“With the full support of Geely Technology Group and the unremitting efforts of the Terrafugia Speed ​​R & D team, the TF-2A scaled-down verification machine completed the concept design and ground-related tests through continuous technical optimization, and entered the air test phase.

“The prototype uses electric power, is constructed mainly from composite materials, has a wingspan of 4.5 meters, a designed maximum take-off weight of 60 kg, and a cruising speed of about 100 kilometers per hour”, the company said.

“The research and development of TF-2A started in 2019, covering the entire industrial chain from front-end market analysis to design research and development to manufacturing and processing.

It has industry-leading R & D capabilities in design, simulation analysis, testing and testing. At the same time, Terrafugia has well developed full-composite material processing capabilities, and has independently completed the composite material body processing and production of the verification machine.”

Geely Terrafugia Speed ​​TF-2A has the following performance parameters and characteristics:

  • With 8 lifts and 1 propeller, it can take off and land vertically without a runway;
  • The payload is 200 kg, which can carry 2 passengers and accompanying luggage; the maximum range is 100 km, the cruising speed maxes at 180 km / h, it can cover most of a typical city radius, and it can meet the needs of intercity air travel between adjacent cities ;
  • Pure electric power design, compared with traditional helicopters and other aircraft, it has lower operating costs, lower noise, more energy-saving and environmental protection, and higher safety redundancy;
  • Equipped with top quality flight control system, and will gradually iterate to autonomous flight in the future;
  • The design and development of TF-2A is aimed at gaining airworthiness certification and obtaining type approval. It will be put into commercial operation with the highest safety factor in the future.

Relying on Geely’s large travel platform, Geely Terrafugia Vehicle combines the advantages of R & D and operation of the aviation industry in the group, and the world’s leading software and hardware development in the transportation field. At the same time, it interfaces with international aviation owners’ flow suppliers to create the industry’s leading urban air travel vehicle.

After the first successful test flight of the verification prototype, the developers will continue to collect and analyze relevant data, optimize iterative product design, and plans to launch the TF-2A full-scale prototype during the next testing stage.

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