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Transportation The Military

Russian Defense Company Demos A One-Person Flying Car (futurism.com) 95

An anonymous reader quotes Futurism: Russian defense company Kalashnikov has revealed their single-person flying car... As reported by Popular Mechanics, its body consists of a simple metal frame with a set of eight rotors used to lift it off the ground. A pair of joysticks are used to control the craft, while a set batteries found beneath the rider's seat provide the necessary power... Using electricity makes it lighter than a craft that relies on gasoline or a diesel engine, but as noted by DefenseNews, the batteries probably only enable it to fly for about 30 minutes before it needs to land.
There's video footage on YouTube of the flying craft lifting off.
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Russian Defense Company Demos A One-Person Flying Car

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  • I'll take one for free evaluation!
     

  • by CaptnCrud ( 938493 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @12:54AM (#55290377)

    nothing about it looks remotely car like, it looks like a flying blender / head decapitator.

    • nothing about it looks remotely car like, it looks like a flying blender / head decapitator.

      I watched the Jetsons when I was a kid, and since then I have been waiting 50 years for my flying car. Now it is finally here, and the millennials are whining about its appearance? Look, I don't care if it is ugly, just put the damn thing into production. I will buy the first one off the assembly line.

    • nothing about it looks remotely car like, it looks like a flying blender / head decapitator.

      seems some people still think a m16 is better than a ak47.

    • flying blender / head decapitator.

      This is only a proof of concept. The final version will also have a machine gun.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      looks like a flying blender / head decapitator.

      So they finally invented the Flux Decapitator, eh?

  • Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:02AM (#55290393)
    it's a drone! Big enough to carry a human being.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeh, like the Portuguese cup final football was delivered by a manned drone.
      https://www.theguardian.com/football/video/2017/may/29/portuguese-cup-final-ball-delivered-by-man-on-spider-like-drone-video

      I'm kinda reminded of the Putin robot that showed just how far behind they are:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LjKfs7MjYE

      Russia is hardly a technological military threat, but still a threat though, given Putin gave nukes to North Korea, just not a very advanced threat.

    • by Nkwe ( 604125 )

      it's a drone! Big enough to carry a human being.

      If the human being carried is also controlling it, it ain't a drone.

    • Technically, if it carries a human pilot, it isn't a drone anymore.
  • Not a car. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @01:50AM (#55290487)

    Seriously, which part of that thing reminds you of a car? Feel free to list which parts. [englishclub.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I can name the most important part that reminds me of a "Car", AKA - A Horseless Carriage.

      That would be, the absence of a horse.

  • None of these electric flying-contraptions for personal transport will be viable until there's a breakthrough in battery technology.

    • Seriously -- No "breakthrough" required -- just steady progress for a decade or three. Two things though:

      General to this class of devices: You probably have to land them near a power socket capable of delivering a fair amount of electricity at specific voltages, currents, and phases through a plug that matches the socket on the vehicle.

      Specific to this particular vehicle: It looks to about as safe as Lawnchair Larry's Weather-balloon hoisted Sears lawnchair. darwinawards.com/stupid/stupid1998-11.html

  • ...its a flying go-kart.

    As it doesn't gain any altitude one also questions as to whether it truly flies or just simply can get to a ground effect height of about 10 feet or so.

    • I think pilots (if they can find any) will discover that 10ft is LOTS of altitude if the rotors lock up for some reason.

  • The video only shows the scary-as-shit bare frame prototype flying. Then they show something that looks like a thermoformed shell over a stationary model.

    Does the model that won't chop bystanders into a puree actually fly?

    I also noticed how they panned the volume of the sound track music WAY UP as the motors activated. It looked like it was probably loud as hell.

    Neat thing, nonetheless. Needs further refinement.

  • by Dartz-IRL ( 1640117 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @02:49AM (#55290629)

    Tired of driving?

    Stressed out from all the traffic?

    Take a Kalashnikov to the office today!

  • Next we'll have russian road rage videos with Kalashnikovs in the AIR!

  • Las Vegas and the Catalan issue are infinitely more news worthy and we're served this manure!
  • This flying "car" looks a lot like the KittyHawk Flyer (TM). Judging from the videos it seems that the KittyHawk is quite a bit further along, taking people aloft for demo flights at several major public venues.

    https://kittyhawk.aero/ [kittyhawk.aero]

    They look awfully similar which begs the question, is this another case of Russians SLAVIshly (ha ha, slavic get it?) copying a western design? (The Concordski and Space Shuttle come to mind). However this may simply be just because of the constraints put on by current techn

    • by Megol ( 3135005 )

      The Buran had enough differences that it couldn't be a shuttle copy according to some NASA people (don't remember who - it was a while ago after all). The differences meant (according to the NASA people) that Buran had to be redesigned essentially from scratch to not break up during reentry. Inspired by? Absolutely, strongly inspired by but with several critical differences.
      People involved in the design have hinted that a lot of the development was done simply because 1) they didn't want to be behind the US

      • Absolutely, strongly inspired by but with several critical differences.

        If "inspired" is an euphemism for "stolen" [nbcnews.com] - yes, it was a case of a LOT of inspiration, all over.

        The key in terms of the shuttle program was "overt collection" and specifically the use of commercial databases. In effect, the massive effort directed at the U.S. space shuttle program was among the first cases of Internet espionage, if not the first case. With all the critical documents online, it was left to the VPK, under the auspices of the KGB, to gather it all up and then circulate it to those in the space program who needed it.

        The 1985 CIA analysis on "Soviet Acquisition of Militarily Significant Western Technology" described the shuttle project as the best example of the KGB's exploitation of U.S. government databases:

        "From the mid-1970s through the early 1980s, NASA documents and NASA-funded contractor studies provided the Soviets with their most important source of unclassified material in the aerospace area. Soviet interests in NASA activities focused on virtually all aspects of the space shuttle. Documents acquired dealt with airframe designs (including the computer programs on design analysis), materials, flight computer systems, and propulsion systems. This information allowed Soviet military industries to save years of scientific research and testing time as well as millions of rubles as they developed their own very similar space shuttle vehicle."

        The CIA noted that "individual abstracts or references in government and commercial data bases are unclassified, but some of the information, taken in the aggregate, may reveal sensitive information."

        Moreover, said the CIA, the VPK had laid out "general guidance to collectors to acquire selected information on ... the U.S. space shuttle." In terms of priority, in fact, the report noted that "documents on systems and heat shielding of the U.S. space shuttle" was the VPK's top need in the "Space and Anti-satellite Weapons" arena. The CIA also detailed how much the KGB had budgeted for several of the shuttle-related projects and what academic institutions were targeted by the Soviets' shuttle effort.

        A half-million rubles - then worth roughly $140,000 - had been budgeted for "documents on the U.S. shuttle orbiter control system," the CIA noted. And shuttle-related research projects at Caltech, MIT, Brooklyn Poly, Princeton, Stanford, Kansas, Penn State and Ohio State were also listed as targets of the KGB.

        So thorough was the online acquisition, the National Security Agency learned, that the Soviets were using two East-West research centers in Vienna and Helsinki as covers to funnel the information to Moscow, where it kept printers going "almost constantly." The Reagan administration had cut the Soviets off from making direct purchases of reports through the Department of Commerce's National Technical Information Service and the Pentagon's Defense Technical Information Service.

        "Prior to that, they simply went from the Soviet embassy on 16th Street to the Government Printing Office on North Capitol and H Streets, provided the GPO with the name and number of the document they had gotten off the database, paid their money and took the documents back to the embassy," said one intelligence official.

        The computer center through which much of the intelligence then flowed, according to another CIA report, was located at the Soviet Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Moscow, which it identified as having strong "links" to the KGB. The report noted it was "reasonable to assume" that the chamber's computer center tapped into western online information services.

  • Nice try (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Errol backfiring ( 1280012 ) on Monday October 02, 2017 @07:01AM (#55291119) Journal
    Apart from the vertical take-off feature, a simple gyroplane would:
    • be cheaper
    • be easier to handle
    • be safer
    • be easier to transport (take the rotor blades off)
    • be able to lift more
    • have a greater range
    • be more efficient

    But the only drawback is that, as it is an existing type of aircraft, nobody would call it a flying car.

    • Gyroplanes are wickedly cool - the sad thing is, every single time someone comes up with a "roadable aircraft" like the PAL-V https://www.pal-v.com/ [pal-v.com] it turns into something so expensive that it will always remain a rich-person's toy.

      And with respect to the "flying car" of the original article? 30 minutes flight time my ass. The number of lipo batteries you'd need to carry in order to lift a human out of ground effect for 30 minutes would be ridiculously heavy and take a day and a half to charge. Unless ther

  • This was a solved problem back in the 60's. Problem then and now, is that there are hardly any practical applications for these type of vehicles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
  • Shhhhhhh!! It's just a big drone with a seat.
  • I don't have a boat, but I nurture dreams of buying one, keeping it in my garage in Cleveland and hauling it once a year all the way to lake Tahoe for boating.

    Unless the vehicle can do the entire round trip without refueling it is totally useless and no one would buy it.

  • More like 5 minutes of battery power. Did the author even look at the pack? While this IS where we're headed and how we will get there, the batteries are not yet there to make it a feasible form of transportation. More batteries means more weight, which quickly means no flight. Less batteries means you can maybe fly to the corner store and back, and pray you don't lose power over a neighbor's house.
  • the batteries probably only enable it to fly for about 30 minutes before it needs to land.

    Not too bad; that's about the total average amount of time per day I spend driving --- most of that time spent waiting at red lights or stop signs, so assuming a decent speed, I would expect travel by flying car to decrease my trip times by more than 50%, so if we get a well-executed product (It will need to be completely automatic in terms of takeoff, landing, and navigation) this could still replace the

  • They had a cool jet engine 1 man flying machine, standing up. Made in the 60's for the military, but the shorter fly time and 1 person cargo, wasn't as useful as a chopper. Imagine the technology in 50 years could update this flying machine.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

  • The highest power storage density in common use for vehicles is still petrochemicals. Flying machines are very weight dependent. So while this is a nice concept it is useless in terms of practical transport. The batteries under a person in a defense related vehicle seems destined for being shot and starting occupant roasting fires. (ORF) The use of 8 rotors is also inefficient. one rotor is optimal efficiency, three or four provide redundancy.
  • I'll say it before, and I'll say it again: Hovering a few feet from the ground ain't flying.

    Call me when this thing can go over traffic / small buildings.

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