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AbstractThough the lucrative design of a flying car is a

daunting task many manufactures are making attempts for its

realization. In this paper numerical studies have been carried out to
redesigning the Ferrari F430 car into a flying car with NACA 9618
airfoil shaped wings. Detailed 3D CFD analyses have been carried
using a k-omega turbulence model. As part of the conceptual design
optimization the lift and the drag coefficients of Ferrari F430 car
with and without wings have been evaluated. The results from the
parametric study indicate that the Ferrari F430 flying car with
deployed wing will take off at 53 km/hr.

Keywords Flying car, roadable airplane, low cost air taxi,
Ferrari F430 flying car.
HE flying car concept has been around since the early
days of motoring, when intrepid aviators and auto
pioneers envisioned a time when cars ruled the sky as
they did the road. The fact is that to date we dont have a
lucrative design of any type of flying cars for mass production
[1-15]. The first flying car or roadable aircraft came in
1917 via Wright Brothers rival Glenn Curtiss who having
been beaten into the air designed the three-wing Curtiss
Autoplane. The vehicle could only hop, but spawned an
engineering race that, despite modern successes, has yet to
come of age.
The open literature reveals that in 1926, Henry Ford
unveiled the Sky Flivver, which wasnt really a flying car but
captured the public imagination due to a clever campaign
billing it the Model T of the Air. Ford hoped the Flivver
would become the first mass produced and affordable plane
that could be maintained just like a car. The idea was
abandoned when it crashed during a distance-record attempt,
killing the pilot. Next came an effort by Waldo Waterman,
designer of the first tailless monoplane (precursor to the flying
wing) and modern tricycle landing gear. Watermans 1937
creation, the Arrowbile (or Aerobile a development of his
earlier design the Whatsit), was the first flying car to actually
fly. With a wingspan of 38 feet, the Arrowbile could reach
112 mph in flight and 56 mph on the road. Despite the
setbacks and lack of commercial success, not all flying cars
were a disaster. The Convair Model 118 flew successfully,

Bachelor of Engineering Student, Aeronautical Engineering, Kumaraguru
College of Technology, Coimbatore 641 049, Tamil Nadu, India
Professor and Aerospace Scientist, Aeronautical Engineering, Kumaraguru
College of Technology, Coimbatore 641 049, Tamil Nadu, India;
(Corresponding Author, phone: +91 938 867 9565; +91 915 089 1021,
while one 1949 Taylor Aerocar is still flying today. Ford tried
again in the 1950s, concluding that flying cars could be made
and manufactured economically. Markets identified were the
military, emergency services and luxury travel now served,
at far greater cost according to Ford, by light helicopters.
The main concerns of the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) were lack of adequate air traffic control to handle
hundreds of airborne vehicles, and problems such as
intoxicated pilots and flying without a license. The
international community would also have to agree on
universal standards, the translation of air miles to nautical
miles, and so on. Above all, the FAA feared the impact of
flying cars on urban areas, as shoddily built machines and
pilots errors causing public nuisances.
The modern flying car concepts like the Terrafugia
Transition are showing remarkable promise. The Terrafugia
Transition is a light sport, roadable airplane under
development by Terrafugia since 2006 [7-15]. The proposed
design of the production version was made public at
AirVenture Oshkosh on 26 J uly, 2010.

Aerodynamic changes
revealed included a new, optimized airfoil, Hoerner wingtips,
and removal of the canard after it was found to have an
adverse aerodynamic interaction with the front wheel
suspension struts; furthermore, the multipurpose passenger
vehicle classification from the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA) removed the requirement for
a full width bumper that had inspired the original canard
design. After undergoing drive tests and high-speed taxi tests,
the Production Prototype completed its first flight on March
23, 2012 at the same airport in Plattsburgh, New York that
was used for the Proof of Concept's flight testing. The flight
tests followed months of high-speed taxi tests and thousands
Conceptual Design and Analysis of
Ferrari F430 Flying Car
Godfrey Derek Sams
, Kamali Gurunathan
, Prasanth Selvan
, V.R.Sanal Kumar


Fig. 1 Shows the Ferrari F430 reference car

Fig. 2 Shows the Ferrari F430 proposed flying car

International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology (IJRET) Vol. 1, No. 6, 2012 ISSN 2277 4378
of hours of wind tunnel and simulator sessions.
The designers have been trying to build a flying car for a
century, but only a few designs ever succeeded in flying
through the air and driving on the road. The American
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has shown an
interest in the concept with a sixty five million dollar program
called Transformer to develop a four place roadable aircraft
by 2015. The vehicle is required to take off vertically, and
have a 280 mile range. Terrafugia, AAI Corporation, and
other Textron companies have been awarded the contract.
Flying cars fall into one of two styles; integrated (all the
pieces can be carried in the vehicle), or modular (the
aeronautical sections are left at the airport when the vehicle is
It is well known that existing flying car designs are
expensive and the lucrative design of a flying car is a daunting
task. Therefore more efforts must be put for the realization of
a commercial flying car. In this paper an attempt has been
made to convert the Ferrari F430 car into a flying car with
NACA 9618 airfoil shaped wings for low cost mass
production [1].

Figures 1 & 2 show the Ferrari F430 roadable
car and the idealized physical model of the flying car
Numerical simulations have been carried out with the help
of a three-dimensional standard k-omega model. This
turbulence model is an empirical model based on model
transport equations for the turbulence kinetic energy and a
specific dissipation rate. This code solves standard k-omega
turbulence equations with shear flow corrections using a
coupled second order implicit unsteady formulation. In the
numerical study, a fully implicit finite volume scheme of the
compressible, Reynolds-Averaged, Navier-Stokes equations is
employed. Compared to other models this model could well
predict the turbulence transition and has been validated
through benchmark solutions.

Therefore, this model has been
used for demonstrating the flow fields of flying cars.
Compressibility effects are encountered in gas flows at high
velocity and/or in which there are large pressure variations.
When the flow velocity approaches or exceeds the speed of
sound or when the pressure change in the system is large, the
variation of the gas density with pressure has a significant
impact on the flow velocity, pressure, and temperature.
Compressible flows create a unique set of flow physics for
which one must be aware of the special input requirements
and appropriate solution techniques. Compressible flows are
typically characterized the total pressure P
and total
temperature T
of the flow.
In this model the compressible flows are described by the


Fig. 3(a-b). Surface mesh distribution of Ferrai F430 without
and with wing.


Fig. 4(a-b). Volume mesh distribution of Ferrai F430 without
and with wing.

Fig. 5 (a) Computational domain for simulating Ferrai F430
roadable car.

Fig. 5(b). Computation domain for simulating Ferrai F430
flying car.

International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology (IJRET) Vol. 1, No. 6, 2012 ISSN 2277 4378
standard continuity and momentum equations with the
inclusion of the compressible treatment of the density. The
energy equation solved by the code will incorporate the
coupling between the flow velocity and the static temperature.
The viscosity is determined from the Sutherland formula.
All boundary conditions for wall-function meshes will
correspond to the wall function approach, but in the case of
fine meshes the appropriate low-Reynolds number boundary
conditions will be applied. At the solid walls a no-slip
boundary condition is imposed. An idealized physical model
is required for the simplification of the analysis. This is
achieved using commercial software. Concurrently, decisions
are made as to the extent of the finite flow domain in which
the flow is to be simulated. Portions of the boundary of the
flow domain coincide with the surfaces of the body geometry.
Other surfaces are free boundaries over which flow enters or
leaves. The geometry is modeled in such a manner as to
provide input for the grid generation. Thus, the modeling
often takes into account the structure and topology of the grid
Ferrari F430 flying car geometry was acquired as a text file
and imported into the mesh generator software. Some minor
adjustments were made to this to correct the geometry and
make it valid as a CFD model. Mesh generator is essential in
the process of doing the CFD analysis: it creates the working
environment where the object is simulated. An important part
in this is creating the mesh surrounding the object. This needs
to be extended in all directions to get the physical properties
of the surrounding fluid in this case moving air. The mesh
and edges must also be grouped in order to set the necessary
boundary conditions effectively.
An environment consisting of two squares and one
semicircle surrounds the surface. The mesh is constructed to
be very fine at regions close to the model and with high
energy, and coarser farther away from the model. For this
model a structured polyhedral and trimmer mesh was used.
Due to limitations in the available software, the mesh has to
be fine also in certain regions far from the model. A fine mesh
implies a higher number of calculations which in turn makes
the simulation use longer time to finish. For the model, the
very front has an edge grid distributed with an increasing
distance between nodes, starting from very small sizes. From
the point of maximum thickness on the model to the very back
an even number of points is distributed on the surface. Grid
system in the computational domain is selected after the
detailed grid refinement exercises. Figure 3 shows the surface
mesh, Fig.4 shows the volume mesh and Fig. 5 shows the
computational domain for both cases of Ferrari F430. The
grids are clustered near the solid walls using suitable
stretching functions. The car geometric variables and material
properties are known a priori. Initial wall temperature (300
K), inlet total pressure (101325 Pa) and temperature (300 K)
are specified. The Courant-Friedrichs-Lewy number is
initially chosen as 3.0 in all of the computations. Ideal gas is
selected as the working fluid. The code has successfully
validated with the help of benchmark solutions. The total cell
count of Ferrari F430 flying car model is 400000 cells and the
total number of iteration is 250. The each iteration took
around 6 to 8 minutes so for completing a single simulation
we required 18 hours using a 16GB RAM configured system.
The external flow features are examined in both roadable
and flying model of Ferrari F430. Fig. 6 shows the numerical
results of the pressure distribution over Ferrari F430 at its
maximum road speed (315 k m/hr). Fig. 7 (a-b) shows the
pressure and the Mach number distribution over the Ferrari
F430 flying car. Using the available numerical results an
attempt has been made to estimate the lift and the drag

Fig. 6 Numerical results showing the pressure distribution
over Ferrari F430 at its maximum road speed (315 k m/hr).


Fig. 7 (a-b) Numerical results show the pressure and the
Mach number distribution over the Ferrari F430 flying car.
International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology (IJRET) Vol. 1, No. 6, 2012 ISSN 2277 4378
coefficient of both roadable and flying modal of Ferrari F430.
We observed that though the drag coefficient is significantly
increased while deploying the wings we have benefited with
high lift coefficient. The results are presented in Table I.

Ferrari F430
without wing
Ferrari F430
with wing
Lift Coefficient 0.05 1.7
Drag Coefficient 0.24 0.54
The Table II shows the dimensions and specifications of the
proposed Ferrari F430 flying car. Figure 8 (a-b) shows the
different views of the Ferrari F430 flying car.
Height 2.03 m
Width 2.33 m
Length 6 m
Cabin width 1.37 m
Front tread 1.67 m
Rear tread 1.42 m
Wheel base 3.02 m
Turn radius 7.31 m
Baggage space 339.8 L
Height(Baggage space) 0.3 - 0.45 m
Width 0.76 m
Weight empty 958.5 kg
Curb weight 1083.8 kg
Weight loaded 1315.1 kg
Wing span 6.85 m
Wing chord 1.27 m
Wing area 5.94 m

Body area 12.54m

Wing +body 18.49m

Tail plane area 3.35 m

Fuel capacity 151.4 L
Cruise speed 87.4555556 m/s
Range 600 nm
Engine power 220 hp @3600 rpmburning about 7 gal/hr
We concluded that with the proposed dimensions and
specifications the Ferrari F430 flying car with thrust to weight
ratio 0.3176 will take off at 53 km/hr when the NACA 9618
airfoil shaped wings are deployed in both sides. We also
concluded that though the lucrative design of a flying car is a
daunting task systematic 3D analysis can help the designer for
redesigning the existing high speed cars for commercial flying
cars. More tangible numerical results will be presented along
with the final paper.
The authors would like to thank the management of
Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore - 641 049,
Tamil Nadu, India for their extensive support for completing
this research work.
[1] Godfrey Derek Sams, Kamali Gurunathan, and Prasanth Selvan,
Conceptual Design and Analysis of Ferrari F430 Flying Car, Final
Year Undergraduate Project Report, Department of Aeronautical
Engineering, Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore
641 049, Tamil Nadu, India, April 2012.
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Fig. 8 (a-b) Different views of the Ferrari F430 proposed flying car.

International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology (IJRET) Vol. 1, No. 6, 2012 ISSN 2277 4378