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The Military Transportation

AT Black Knight Transformer Hits the Road and Takes a Hop 33

Posted by timothy
from the best-toys-are-always-someone-else's dept.
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Following on from driving tests that wound up in December last year, the Black Knight Transformer prototype demonstrator has taken to the air for the first time. California-based Advanced Tactics, Inc., announced its vehicle, which combines the capabilities of a helicopter and an off-road vehicle, completed its first flight tests last month, being remotely piloted at an undisclosed location in Southern California."
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AT Black Knight Transformer Hits the Road and Takes a Hop

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  • ....is no longer an undisclosed location.

    And everyone knows Batman works in Gotham City. Duh.
    • by puddles (147314)

      Well, knowing that it's Southern California narrows it down to a few deserts: Death Valley, Anza Borrego, Mojave or somewhere in the Hungry Valley region. OK, each of those is still pretty huge but you've ruled out other deserts in the US.

      The terrain doesn't look like Death Valley. Advanced Tactics being based in El Segundo ... I bet they just hopped on to the 405 and went south to Anza Borrego.

      That's just a guess :-)

  • Special ops? those engines/motors couldnt take a 7.62x39 mm bullet (popular militia / rebel round) . The whole crate would come crashing down . Add armour , the weight will be too much for sustained flight .. Looks very nice but IMO it's got a long way to go before it gets practical.
    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Special ops? those engines/motors couldnt take a 7.62x39 mm bullet (popular militia / rebel round) .

      How many engines/blades can it lose and still fly?

      • It can be designed with the ability to spontaneously lose its flying capability, and then right itself for continued travel on the ground.

        There are a handful of marginal uses that come to mind, but in most, there's little incentive to combine the two vehicles. A remote all-terrain vehicle could be designed to carry a container delivered by (or to) a UAV.

        Ronco tarnished a generation with the Do-It-All gadget mindset, but there are seemingly inevitable compromises in exchange for multiple functions.

      • This actually looks good to me. Most helicopters can be shot down with a rifle. They are huge engines with large fuel tanks and large, whirling blades, and it is not that difficult to get them to destroy themselves with their own momentum, height, or fuel. This thing has eight separate lifting units. I would imagine with the large body, it would not fall that fast, and even if you were missing several rotors it could land in a controlled fashion. The wheels make it look a bit like the chariot from "Lost In

        • This actually looks good to me. Most helicopters can be shot down with a rifle. They are huge engines with large fuel tanks and large, whirling blades, and it is not that difficult to get them to destroy themselves with their own momentum, height, or fuel.

          I concur. Helicopters are a collection of single-points-of-failure, disasters waiting to happen. (Particularly the pilot - they have to be continuously controlled and crash almost instantly if anything incapacitates him.) Their vulnerability is justifie

    • by sysrammer (446839)
      "...couldnt take a 7.62x39 mm bullet...". Maybe, but it occurs to me that in many special ops missions, if a bullet is flying, the mission has already failed. This may not be a tool selected for certain missions, but may be a fine tool for others.
    • by Aighearach (97333)

      the Black Knight is designed specifically for autonomous casualty evacuation and unmanned cargo resupply missions. While it can be flown by an onboard pilot, its unmanned capabilities are intended to keep pilots out of harm's way on dangerous missions.

      It isn't intended to always come home, or to replace special forces helicopters.

  • by Nutria (679911) on Saturday April 12, 2014 @04:43AM (#46732361)

    Air, land and water are just too different.

    • Yeah space as well. The Apollo CSM was a significantly better space craft than the Space Shuttle, but the shuttle was a slightly better aircraft.

      • by peragrin (659227)

        how do you figure that? I never saw the apollo space craft pull up along side another space based object latch on to it and conduct repairs on it. the closest we got was the CM and LM would latch up for a joined flight after it was in space.

        The space shuttle was big but it had very useful features like a large cargo bay that not only could take things into space but also return them. It could sleep 7 for two weeks. If we are ever going to build in space we need that ability. we have enough junk up ther

        • The space shuttle was big but it had very useful features like a large cargo bay that not only could take things into space but also return them.

          Yes, because this capability was indispensable for so many missions that the whole program would have been more expensive without it, right?

        • The shuttle was highly specialised and quite delicate. It could only accelerate at four gravities and in the challenger disaster, fell completely to bits when turned sideways against its direction of travel. An airliner would have at least held together and an apollo command module wouldn't have cared much at all. Apollo could aerobrake at 11 gravities and because of its triangulated structure could actually take a lot more of a beating than its occupants. It could land anywhere on earth, in smaller places

        • by dwye (1127395)

          The Apollo CSM never pulled along side another space based object and latched on because it didn't need to on any of the missions except 13, and that mission wouldn't have needed to do so if the service module hadn't had a one-in-a-program explosion. The DID do that during at least two Gemini missions that I watched growing up.

          The original design version of the shuttle would have been far more useful, but it was Proxmired away.

          • In retrospect I think STS would have worked better as sort of a winged Apollo service module. Consider an Apollo command module in the expanded rescue configuration as the shuttle flight flight deck. Hatch through the heat shield like the Gemini wet lab. The CM could eject and land on its own in pretty much any failure scenario.

            Of course, an Apollo stack did one or two repair missions on Skylab. It was short on storage space in comparison to STS.

    • It would make a lot more sense to simply develop a quad (well, octo)copter lifter that can attach to a variety of vehicles than to try to develop a vehicle which is both in one. You'd burn through more fuel having to carry more redundancy, but it's worth it to not have to make stupid compromises and to have the lifting platform be able to move more than a box on wheels.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Black Knight Transformer, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist.

    Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless in a world of corporations and politicians who operate above the law.

  • lame (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495)

    Ok, that thing is lame. It looks like someone built it in their garage (they probably did.) And Monster truck? What? They have it next to a stock F150 and it has less ground clearance, smaller tires and I see no front axle shafts (so no 4x4) and in fact, it's hard to see but I don't think there are rear drive shafts either. All this is, is a giant quadracopter with landing gear off a Honda Civic. They should just do away with the tires to save weight and be done with it.

  • Pfft...

    Where's the robot mode?

  • Why would you not have just one bigger engine powering a generator, and electric engines for the rotors and wheels?

We can predict everything, except the future.

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