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The Military Transportation Technology

Roadable, Vertical-Takeoff Aircraft Is Eager To Hit the Battlefield 87

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-deliver-pizzas dept.
Zothecula writes "When someone mentions flying cars, it conjures up images of a sporty little number that takes to the air like something out of the Jetsons. But what about one that's a cross between a 4x4, an octocopter, and a blackhawk helicopter? That's what Advanced Tactics of El Segundo, California is seeing with its ambitions to produce a roadable VTOL aircraft capable of unmanned autonomous operations as a more flexible way to recover casualties, move supplies, and support special forces."
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Roadable, Vertical-Takeoff Aircraft Is Eager To Hit the Battlefield

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 10, 2014 @01:41PM (#45918439)

    Keeping eight engines up to spec per vehicle, sounds like one big headache

  • by fructose (948996) on Friday January 10, 2014 @01:42PM (#45918455) Homepage
    This is the first roadable aircraft that looks like it could work. No fancy linkages to have one motor run it all, or spiffy folding wings or anything that hasn't been created yet. This actually has demonstrated technologies behind it and looks like it's much further along that a pretty 3D rendering. Even if the UAV portion doesn't work, this application could be useful in more than just the battlefield. This could be used for civilian medivac or other urgent situation where a suitable landing location is easily accessible.
  • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater AT gmail DOT com> on Friday January 10, 2014 @01:56PM (#45918581) Homepage

    I stopped reading not too far in when I encountered this little gem of stupidity; The trouble is, helicopters can only land in nice, big open areas that can be miles from where they're needed..

    Um, not quite. Military helicopter pilots are trained to land in spaces much smaller than you might think possible. Military helicopters are also equipped with winches - they don't need to land.

    This [youtube.com] is an extreme example - but it should give you the general idea. Sadly, the video is missing the most interesting part - the helicopter flying blind and *backwards* out of the narrow part of the canyon.

  • A terrible idea. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Friday January 10, 2014 @02:08PM (#45918701)

    These mish-mash flying cars always offer nothing but the worst of both worlds. This thing, like other similar concepts in the past, is not robust enough to make a proper ground vehicle. This is worse because it's intended to go off-road and needs to be armored. But it's inescapable that those two aspects will be compromised to ensure it can get airborne. And the compromises go in both directions, because as an aircraft it will be slow and clumsy.

    What does purpose does this thing even serve that isn't already better filled by a helicopter? If a ground vehicle is necessary for a mission there are already numerous ways to deliver and retrieve them using a variety of aircraft. I also recall reading that someone is working on a sort of airframe that mates up to an armored vehicle for transport and separates upon delivery. That seems like a far smarter idea than this.

    And since when is "roadable" a word? It always comes off as a pathetic attempt to legitimize a concept; the idea that something is so new and so awesome they had to make up a new term.

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