China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has shared new images of the production design of its Terrafugia TF-2A eVTOL for urban air mobility.
According to the post, the aircraft’s design is inspired by the shape of the tiger shark. It features a large upper wing, an H-shaped tail, and a rear prop for forward flight, plus eight lifting propellers for vertical take-offs and landings. Geely said it expects the configuration to be easier to certify than multi-rotor and tilt-wing eVTOL designs.
The fully electric TF-2A is expected to have a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 1,200 kilograms (2,645 pounds) and a payload of 200 kg (440 lb.). It is targeting a maximum range of 100 kilometers (62 miles), a cruising speed of 180 km/h (110 mph), and a service ceiling of 3,000 m (9,840 feet).
In addition to subscale demonstrator flights to optimize the TF-2A’s aerodynamic configuration, Geely has also launched flight testing of a metal frame test bed with a MTOW of 600 kg (1,320 lb.) and four lifting propellers powered by a high-voltage ground power supply. According to the company’s post, the test bed — which made its first flight on June 8 in Hangzhou, China — will be used to verify functions including vertical take-offs and landings and hovering flight, as well as test the dynamic response, stability, functional coordination, and preliminary safety and reliability of each system.
Geely acquired the Massachusetts-based flying car company Terrafugia in 2017, subsequently establishing a research and development team in China focused on urban air mobility. According to an earlier Geely communication, work on the TF-2A design started last year. The company plans to launch a full-scale TF-2A prototype “in the near future.”