If you've ever watched your Parrot AR Drone power through the air and wondered what it would be like to be inside such a craft, the announcement of the Air Car project could be the answer you are looking for. The folks behind the development of the SoloTrek/Springtail Exoskeleton Flying Vehicle have revealed plans to create the world's first fuel-electric hybrid flying car.
Michael Moshier and Robert Bulaga of Trek Aerospace are forming a new company to develop the hybrid Air Car, which will combine recent technological advances in materials and electronics with the kind of duct-fan technology that was used in the now-retired Springtail single person vertical take-off-and-landing (VTOL) vehicle.
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Moshier and Bulaga are currently on the lookout for funding partners to help the multi-person transport project take off (sorry!) and a number of real world scenarios for its use have been suggested - from being useful for emergency services such as search and rescue, police patrol and medical support, to providing vital lifelines for those areas of the world where established transportation systems are lacking.
Given the probable cost of the first vehicles to roll off the production line, it's more likely that thrill-seekers with bottomless bank accounts will be amongst the very first to power up the four fans and take to the skies.
With the Australian Hoverbike heading for test flights in the next few months, the recently-announced EU myCopter project securing funding and Terrafugia aiming for 2012 delivery of its Transition flying car, those first Air Car flyers could well have quite a bit of company in the air immediately above and around us.
Source: Earth TechlingView gallery - 2 images