The flying car has been ‘just around the corner’ for almost as long as the non-flying version, but the skies are still curiously free of two-winged Ford Fiestas.
The US military, however, is committed to developing a road vehicle that can take to the air when required and its current ‘Transformer’ project is apparently on track to deliver a working prototype by 2015.
There are currently two preliminary designs for the “flying Humvee” that combine an armoured four-seat off-road vehicle with a helicopter and one is due to be selected for further development next year.
As if the material and engineering innovations required to combine an 8,200lb armoured Humvee with a 1,500lb light aircraft weren’t complicated enough though, the US military is making things harder by requiring the vehicle to be flown — complete with vertical take-off and landing — by someone with no pilot training.
The US military is confident that the technological hurdles can be overcome, but even if the 2015 target date is met, it’ll be quite some time before we’re all heading straight up as a way to beat the Bank Holiday traffic — the current goal is to develop a vehicle that can be manufactured for a mere $1 million.
[via Aviation Week]