This new all-electric VTOL is the airplane-helicopter combo the future always promised

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The Jaunt Journey Is a Combination Helicopter and Airplane Jaunt Air Mobility

 Jaunt Air Mobility says the Journey will have 175-mph cruise speed and be 65 percent quieter than a traditional helicopter, all with a silky-smooth ride.

With Uber Elevate’s announcement that it plans to start its first urban air mobility network in 2023, the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) race is on. Uber’s partnership with Joby is big news, as is Joby’s electric four-person aircraft, but Jaunt Air Mobility could be an equally important partner.

Jaunt has introduced the Journey, a radically different type of “compound aircraft” that combines what it sees as the best features of helicopters and fixed-wing airplanes. Technically, it’s called a gyrocopter, an aircraft type that has been around since the mid-‘30s.

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Jet-powered VTOL drone is like a quadcopter on steroids

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The current AB5 JetQuad prototype has a claimed top speed of 250 mph (402 km/h)FusionFlight

While propeller planes certainly do have their place, sometimes the extra speed and thrust of a jet engine is what’s really needed. Dallas, Texas-based FusionFlight has applied that sort of thinking to quadcopter-style drones, resulting in the AB5 JetQuad.

According to the company, the AB5 is “the world’s smallest and most powerful jet-powered drone with vertical take-off and landing [VTOL] capabilities.”

Instead of the usual four electric motors and propellers, the current prototype has four diesel-powered microturbine jet engines which produce a combined 200 horsepower (149 kW) at full throttle. Thanks to a proprietary vectoring system known as the H-Configuration, the thrust from these engines can be directed either to move the drone vertically when taking off and landing, or horizontally while in flight.

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The dream of flying taxis may not be too far off

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Then again, Henry Ford said the same thing in 1940.

“Mark my words. A combination of airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile. But it will come,” Henry Ford quipped in 1940. Our dreams of cars capable of taking flight at the whim of their driver have been around nearly as long as we’ve had cars themselves, or at least as long as we’ve endured heavy commute traffic. Yet the prospect of actual, commercially available flying automobiles has always seemed to remain just out of reach, only a few years from viability. But even as drones become commonplace, are we really any closer to an age of aeronautical automobiles than we were in Ford’s day?

What even is a flying car? Designs have run the gamut from the AVE Mizar (basically a Ford Pinto with wings, to VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) designs like the Piasecki VZ-8 Airgeep. Even today, you’ve got roadable aircraft like the Terrafugia Transition, though these are quickly being pushed into the periphery in favor of VTOLs like the Bell Nexus being developed for Uber Elevate. That is, modern designs generally focus on serving as personal aircraft, rather than automobiles that can also fly.

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This startup is planning a flying taxi service that costs about the same as normal taxis

Munich-based startup Lilium unveiled its five-seater electric air taxi prototype on Thursday. The Lilium Jet, which conducted its first flight earlier this month, is part of an app-based flying taxi service that the company expects will be “fully-operational in various cities around the world by 2025.”

The battery-powered jet is capable of traveling 300 kilometers (186 miles) in 60 minutes on a single charge, and will connect cities through a network of landing pads. Commuters will be able to book rides from their nearest landing pad through a smartphone app.

Lilium did not reveal how much its service will cost, but claims that it will be “comparable in price” with regular taxis. Remo Gerber, the company’s chief commercial officer, told CNN Business that it is aimed at ordinary people and not just well-heeled business travelers.

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This futuristic jet takes off vertically so you can keep it in your backyard

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Meet the TriFan 600.

Made by XTI Aircraft, the personal jet could change the way people travel with its ability to take off and land vertically.

The jet is equipped with three ducted fans that allow it to lift off and land vertically. That means you could stash this plane on a helipad near your house since it doesn’t need a runway.

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12 awesome flying cars and taxis currently in development

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These flying cars want to take your commute to new heights

We were promised that the future would bring flying cars, right? We were. And the good news is that tech entrepreneurs around the world are finally getting started on creating what are commonly known as VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing, pronounced vee-toll) vehicles designed at car size.

Of course, no one is ready for flying cars quite yet. There’s no infrastructure to support them, and a whole new set of auto laws would have to be drawn up to regulate them (like personal drones, but a thousand times worse). The first commercial VTOLs we will see won’t be hanging out at the local auto dealer—they’ll be taxi services built to shuttle people from part of a city to another.

Here’s all the current projects that want to put you in the seat of a flying car.

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Dubai Police start training on flying motorbikes

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(CNN) — The flying motorbike is back in Dubai — and you could see the police riding one in the not-too-distant future.

A year after California-based startup Hoversurf showcased its hoverbike at tech expo GITEX in the white and green livery of the Dubai Police, the company has returned with a new model and evidence its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle might be, well, taking off.

Making good on a deal signed in 2017, Hoversurf has now gifted Dubai Police its first serial production unit of the S3 2019 Hoverbike and has begun training officers to fly it.

Brigadier Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi, general director of Dubai Police’s artificial intelligence department, described the eVTOL vehicle as a first responder unit used to access hard to reach areas. He said he aims to have hoverbikes in action by 2020.

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Here are the most amazing flying car designs featured at Uber’s elevate conference

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Aircraft makers—from multinational giants to garage startups—offer a crazy variety of visions for air taxis that Uber might use.

The early days of flight saw a huge variety of designs—featuring oddities like planes with what we now call the “tail” in the front of the vehicle. After a few decades, the industry settled on the standard forms we recognize today based on cost and efficiency. But today electric technologies have made it possible to widen the space of what’s possible in terms of style, design, and material. “We’re at the same exciting period where we’re like, ‘Well, what is this supposed to look like?’” says Mark Moore, director of engineering, vehicle systems for the Uber Elevate air taxi program. “And no one, including myself, really knows the answer.”

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7 companies working to make ‘flying cars’ a reality

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk may think flying cars are a bad idea, but several companies are working to make them a reality as early as next year.The vehicles these companies are working on aren’t the same from flying cars from “Back to the Future.” Rather, they are pursuing electric, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft for shorter urban commutes.

Like the name suggests, these are vehicles that can take off without needing a runway.

Competition is mounting when it comes to the flying-car moonshot — here are 7 companies working on their own VTOL aircrafts:

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This Is Flight in the World of Tomorrow

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A sleek new helicopter design was unveiled by Bell Helicopter at the Heli-Expo in Dallas, Texas.

Called the FCX-001, the next-generation machine will be built from sustainable materials and run on a hybrid power system. It will come equipped with augmented reality (AR), an artificial intelligence (AI) co-pilot, and rotor blades that morph depending on flight conditions.

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History of the Flying Car – Part Six: The SoloTrek

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The SoloTrek XFV (Exo-skeletal Flying Vehicle) was a single-person VTOL aircraft. It was first flown in December 2001 by Millennium Jet Inc, a private company run by Michael Moshier. Millennium Jet subsequently changed its name to Trek Aerospace Inc. The SoloTrek had one seat and was propelled by two ducted fans located above and on either side of the user, leading some to class it as a type of backpack helicopter. It ran for around 2 hours on gasoline fuel. According to Michael Moshier, SoloTrek was capable of hovering for up to two hours, flying at 100km/h and travelling more than 200km. (pics)

 

Continue reading… “History of the Flying Car – Part Six: The SoloTrek”

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