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VTOL

The AN-1 AeroQuad flying platform from Aeris Naviter

We've written before about the nifty flying carpet-style PAM Individual Lifting Vehicle - now it seems there's another self-stabilizing coaxial dual-rotor flying platform on the way. The AN-1 AeroQuad, from Spain's Aeris Naviter, boasts all the key advantages of the PAM VTOL platform - it's as easy to pilot as a Segway, it'll fly for up to 5 hours, and happily hover at 20-30 feet with a maximum payload of 200kg - making it very handy for crop spraying, firefighting, aerial photography, lifeguarding, rescue and border control in mountainous areas. The AeroQuad moves forward from the PAM design, though, in that it comes in both land- or water-based configurations, and either one is able to fold up after use to a size so small you only need a half-trailer to transport it.  Read More

Finnair's A1700-2400 Cruiser
 Image credit: Kauko Helavuo

To celebrate its 85th anniversary, Finnair has served up a blue-sky vision of what the next 85 years of aviation could hold. Concentrating mainly on potential developments in environmentally friendly technology and lightweight material, the Departure 2093 website lists five aircraft that could grace our sky later this century.  Read More

M200X VTOL prototype

Moller International is selling its Jetson-like M200X 2-passenger VTOL prototype on eBay. Although it's a long way from the latest designs to rise from the Moller drawing-board like the hybrid flying car, the M200X is a significant piece of aviation history, having completed over 200 manned and unmanned flight demonstrations since 1989.  Read More

The autovolantor Flying Car

September 9, 2008 Moller International has announced that it has designed a hybrid flying car. The two-seater autovolantor is fashioned in the shape of a Ferrari 599 GTB with wings and is claimed to be capable of lifting off vertically from a traffic jam and flying at up to 150 mph for a short distance (about 15 minutes). The autovolantor is designed to function on the road very much like a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) using one of its eight Rotapower engines to generate enough electrical power to drive for up to 40 miles.  Read More

The Aeros 40D Sky Dragon MSN 21 will take flight at San Bernardino International Airport, ...

New age dirigible designer Aeros has announced that its airship model Aeros 40D Sky Dragon MSN 21 has entered the flight testing phase. The craft will take flight at San Bernardino International Airport, and will be used as an airborne lab for the development of the new breed of variable buoyancy air vehicle – the Aeroscraft systems.  Read More

Moller International's M200G volantor

July 20, 2008 As the rate of technological advances continues at an astonishing pace there’s probably one question that gets asked more than any other by the average person in the street – or the average person stuck in traffic anyway - why don’t we have flying cars yet? Well the simple answer is that developing a flying car is hard. But the long wait for the solution to car clogged streets could be coming to an end with Moller International announcing that it is in the process of completing its fourth M200 “Jetson” volantor airframe and it expects to complete forty of these fly-by-wire, multi-engine flying vehicles in 2009.  Read More

Skyhook's JHL-40 - the heavy lifter of the skies.

One of the greatest hurdles for major construction in remote areas is moving heavy building materials to the worksite. Road-building is an environmental issue, as well as often being cost-prohibitive and impossible in many terrains. Some areas are unreachable by cargo ship, large cargo planes require good weather and long runways, and helicopters simply can't carry heavy enough loads - which is why Skyhook's Jess Heavy Lifter is so significant. It combines the neutral buoyancy and stability of an airship with the lifting power of four big rotors. Capable of lifting 40 tons (80,000lbs) vertically and transporting the load more than 200 miles without refuelling, the JHL-40 offers twice the load capacity of the world's current largest cargo helicopter.  Read More

Warrior's GULL 36 UAV

UK based marine aircraft developer Warrior (Aero-Marine) has commenced flying its GULL 36 amphibious UAV over the English Channel. Demonstrating the company's wave-piercing stepless hull, the 4-meter wide craft is designed to cleave through choppy water, handle large waves and overcome strong winds and high tow.  Read More

The falx hybrid-electric tilt-rotor concept in police trim.

Tilt-rotor aircraft have been around since the 1950s, offering the vertical take-off, hovering and landing abilities of a helicopter with the range, high flight ceiling, speed and fuel economy of a turboprop aeroplane. Now a new venture from Falx Air Vehicles is planning to push the fuel economy angle even further by using a hybrid-electric motor and inbuilt solar arrays. The company expects its upcoming compact single and double-seater tiltrotor aircraft to use as little as 10 litres of fuel per hour airborne, and the quiet electric operation should see these small, light and manoeuvrable aircraft make solid stealth vehicles for military uses. Though not yet confirmed, we may see a full-size prototype as early as the Farnsworth air show this year, and Falx is aiming to have the craft fully certified by the end of 2009.  Read More

Aeroscraft ML866: superyacht for the sky officially launched

It’s as big as a superyacht and not quite as fast as a supercar, but it does have a range of over 3000 miles and can do it over land, sea or snow, lingering anywhere you like the view. A new category of aircraft that fits somewhere in between a blimp, airship or dirigible, the Aeroscraft ML866 project was recently presented at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) show in Atlanta, Georgia. The key factor of the ML866 design is that it offers superyacht size and comfort in a platform that can operate independently from airports, meaning that a new class of luxury conveyance is about to become available which appears to trump them all.  Read More

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