High-speed terrafoil racing, a tradition since…1970?



Science fiction is great at extrapolating the future, but in this case, it might be more like interpolation…



According to the crew dossiers written by Charles de Lauzirika and hidden on the Alien 20th Anniversary DVD (1999), Parker started work in 2100 for Speedy Maxx, a high-speed terrafoil racing team, but quit about four years later over…you guessed it: a “salary dispute”.

Based on this issue of the High Speed Ground Transportation Journal, terrafoil vehicles have been a thing since at least since the 1970s.

So what exactly is a “terrafoil”?

According to the abstract of the journal,

a terrafoil vehicle (tv) is a vehicle sustained, guided and controlled exclusively through the aerodynamic interaction of its terrafoils with the guideway.

Still confused?  So was I, until I dug further and learned that TVs are “high-speed air-cushioned vehicles”.  Sounds a lot like hovercraft to me.

Here are a few photos I found of the concept:


Grzegorz Burdyszek’s Formula One racing ship.


Gabriel Garza’s Formula One racer-inspired hover craft.


And more aesthetically appropriate for the used universe of Alien


Whichever way you think about it, Parker carried on a racing tradition…which probably included griping about the pay!




  1. I absolutely love this! Thanks for your research work on what terrafoil is. I stopped short and just assumed that maybe it was referring to some type of solar powered car. Really get’s the imagination going, doesn’t it?!



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