After months of rumours, Volvo’s parent company, Geely, has completed the acquisition of American flying-car startup Terrafugia, bringing vehicles that transition from the roads to the skies a step closer to reality.
According to the statement, Geely will acquire all Terrafugia’s businesses and assets and the deal has been approved by relevant regulatory authorities, including the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.
Following the acquisition, the firm aims to deliver its first flying car to the market in 2019, with the world’s first vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) flying car being made available by 2023.
Since it was formed in 2006, Terrafugia has been working on flying cars, and has since developed a number of working prototypes.
Terrafugia’s ‘street-legal airplane,’ Transition, was approved last year by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be certified as a Light Sport Aircraft, paving the way for the development of hybrid vehicles weighing up to 1,800 pounds.
The aircraft has fold-out wings that weigh roughly 1,300 pounds, and have fixed landing gear. They seat a maximum of two people, including the pilot.
To operate them, one must have a sport pilot certificate, which requires just 20 hours of training. The craft reaches a cruise speed of 100 mph, and can achieve a range of 400 miles.And, it can fly to a maximum altitude of 10,000 feet.
The firm’s newer design, the concept TF-X, has fold-out wings with twin electric motors attached to each end, and is expected to cost £183,000 ($261,000).