Los Angeles (US), Dec. 1 (ANI): The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a 65 million-dollar program to develop a four-person vertical take-off flyable and roadable vehicle for the military.
According to a press release issued by Terrafugia, Inc, the Transition Roadable Aircraft, or "Flying Car" manufacturer, is the largest subcontractor to one of the two winning teams, led by AAI Corporation and comprised of other Textron companies.
According to Xinhua, the vehicle, known as the Transformer, or TX, would function like a Humvee on the ground while also providing helicopter-like mobility.
The result will be "unprecedented capability to avoid traditional and asymmetrical threats while avoiding road obstructions," a DARPA announcement said.
Intended missions for the flying car include medical evacuation, avoidance of improvised explosive devices, remote re-supply, and Special Forces insertion.
The vehicle will be able to travel 280 miles (448 kilometers) by land and air, using vertical take-off and landing to increase access to difficult terrain, and automating flight controls to enable operation by non-pilots.
Phase-I of the five year, three-phase program will focus on conceptual design of both a prototype and a production vehicle. Phases II and III will focus on the design and manufacture of the prototype, which could be ready as early as first quarter 2015, the release said.
The work calls for Terrafugia's expertise in drive and flight integration, deployable flight surfaces, and automotive crash safety for an aircraft. (ANI)