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Personal Flight

Preparations for world's first human landing WITHOUT a parachute

January 3, 2005 Jumping out of a plane without a parachute is not something we recommend but that's exactly what B.A.S.E. jumper Jeb Corliss has been doing to help pave the way for the world's first landing attempt without a parachute. Up to now, he's been testing speeds and fall rates in the wing-suit so that he can determine what's required to be able to land the wing-suit without a parachute. Corliss and Go Fast! - sponsored test pilot Luigi Cani teamed up to gather the data. Jeb flew in free fall donning a parachute alongside Luigi, who was at the controls of the world's smallest and fastest parachute-known as the ICARUS VX-39. The two were able to gather data using GPS systems attached to Luigi that tracked exact forward speeds, exact fall rate and the glide angles so the calculations could be done to determine what apparatus would be needed for a safe landing.  Read More

Da Vinci's Ornithopter ready to fly after 500 years

December 3, 2004 Humankind has dreamed of flight since ancient times, but until now most attempts to fly by flapping wings, either using human muscle or mechanical power, have failed. Over 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci conceptualised a self powered flying machine that would achieve both lift and thrust with flapping wings alone and named it the "ornithopter". Now, hot on the heels of the 100th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers pioneering air flight and the recent X Prize won by Burt Rutan for civilian, privately funded space flight, a team of scientists, engineers, and historians in Toronto have taken on the challenge to make Leonardo's orinthopter dream a reality.  Read More

CT2K ultralight for personalised long-distance travel

November 23, 2004 The CT2K ultralight sports aircraft is so compact it almost looks like a toy. Yet with only a 9.3m wingspan, 2.16m height, 6.22m width and 262kg (empty) weight, it can travel over 2,000 km on a full tank. German designers and manufacturers Flight Design has been selling the ultralight CT2K plane throughout Europe and now it is flying high in over a dozen countries in a resurgence of personalised, ultralight flight.  Read More

M-400 SkyCar pre-sales underway

UPDATED November 15, 2004 After recent successful tethered hovering flights of the M400 Skycar, including at the at the WIRED NextFest in San Francisco in May, 2004, Moller International is accepting deposits to secure delivery positions this groundbreaking vehicle. A 10% deposit of US$100,000 will put you in the top 100 on the delivery list for the M-400 Skycar, which is expected to be FAA-certified for use by the end of 2005. Over 100 reservations have already been placed and demand is expected to grow as the working model nears production.  Read More

Skyblazer dual mode 'Flying Car' concept

November 8, 2004 Automobiles and airplanes were both inventions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Both technologies were heralded as examples of technical progress and both carried the promise of great personal freedom that is still being explored today with the possibility of dual mode 'flying cars'. These futuristic concept vehicles have been covered in gizmag before, notably the Moller M400 Skycar, and now another prototype is being proposed by Robin Haynes with his 'Skyblazer roadable aircraft'.  Read More

Man flies like a bird - a jet-powered bird!

October 8, 2004 Man has been attempting to fly for around 2400 years yet has only begun to master the process in the last century. In the history of flight, 2004 is shaping as a good year. One of the pioneers of human flight, Yves Rossy, recently achieved a landmark which went largely unheralded. Rossy’s feats might well go down among the most daring as well as momentous in aviation history. Rossy made headlines in 2003 when he flew 12 kilometres for the loss of just 3000 metres of altitude, achieving his feat by jumping out of plane wearing three metre, carbon fibre wings.  Read More

CarterCopter: a high-speed, low-cost helicopter

Mass personal flight will become a reality sometime this century and one of the companies vying for a share of this lucrative market will be Carter Aviation, creator of the CarterCopter - a VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft projected to cruise at 800 kmh (500mph) at 45,000 feet or 300 kmh at sea level. Suitable for designs as small as a two-seater, all the way through to Jumbo size, the CarterCopter's future is very promising.  Read More

The Next Step: Cars that Fly

It would look right at home on the set of Bladerunner or the latest Star Wars film, but the Moller M400 Skycar - a versatile, economical, safe, environmentally-responsible Flying Car - is definitely for real.June 3, 2004 It would look right at home on the set of Bladerunner or the latest Star Wars film, but the Moller M400 Skycar - a versatile, economical, safe, environmentally-responsible Flying Car - is definitely for real. Opening up the next frontier in automotive personal transport, the SkyCar is a VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) vehicle with a cruising speed of 600kmh, a range of more than 1400km, runs on almost any fuel from diesel to natural gas and achieves better fuel efficiency than many sports cars (15mpg or 19 litres per 100km).  Read More

Human powered helicopter grounded

In 1980, the American Helicopter Society issued a reward of US$20,000 for the first group to build a human powered helicopter. The conditions of flight were to hover in a 10 metre square zone for a minute and reach a height of three metres. Since then around 20 unsuccessful attempts have been made on the feat and none have come close, with the most recent attempt on August 10, 2004 from the University of British Columbia having failed also.  Read More

VTOL AirBike Concept

Saturday July 26, 2003 Swapping internal combustion for turbine power, Allied Aerotechnics is developing a VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing) motorcycle concept designed to access areas that are totally out of reach for any other type of vehicle.  Read More

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