AVX flying-car concept – the Vertical Takeoff and Landing SUV
One of the first to respond to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA's) call seeking designs for a tactical flying car under its Transformer (TX) program is the AVX Aircraft Company. Its AVX Aircraft can be manually driven on the ground like an SUV and also boasts Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) capabilities.
The stated objective of the TX program is to “demonstrate a four person flyable/roadable vehicle that will provide the warfighter with terrain-independent mobility. This presents unprecedented capability to avoid traditional and asymmetrical threats while avoiding road obstructions.” The TX will be designed to enhance future operations with use in strike and raid, intervention, interdiction, insurgency/counterinsurgency, reconnaissance, medical evacuation and logistical supply.
The Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) from DARPA called for a design that:
- could be manually driven on the ground like an SUV
AVX met these performance requirements with its AVX TX design that has:
- 1,040 lb payload
AVX says its TX will also have intuitive controls that will provide non-pilot operator control and navigation systems that are intuitive enough to facilitate the transition from road to flight operations. The vehicle’s dual ducted fans will provide propulsion both on the ground and in the air.
Additionally the AVX (TX) can be quickly converted to medivac with a vehicle operator, medical attendant and littered patient. It can also be converted to a resupply vehicle and can move 12,50 lbs as an unmanned vehicle using a sling or 1,000 lbs as a manned vehicle with the same 250 nm range.
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Especialy is army ops.
And to consider that the props will do the gear is also non-productiv at all, especially in rought tracks. What a waste of power!
It\'s all cool and all, but \'ducted fan propulsion on the ground\'?
Dumb. Slow moving from a dead stop, poor acceleration (compared to wheel drive).
In almost any environment that has a bit of dust, that thing is going to be a highly visible target for days!
Still want one.
I think the troops are at risk in this.
I\'d imagine the maintenance burden would be similar to normal helicopters at around 3 hours per hour of operation, probably more given the ground equipment and the hammering it would get cross country.
The ducted fan propulsion on the ground would be a total disaster as well, with the ducted fans needing to provide MORE than 50% of the vehicles mass in thrust to climb a 50% grade and more like 75% of the vehicles mass in static thrust to be able to match a traditional vehicles off road capability.
Additionally, I\'d imagine that over almost any terrain the debris kicked up by using a powerful ducted fan as a primary propulsion system would be seriously dangerous for anyone nearby. I don\'t imagine it would look too good for the US forces if their vehicles started killing people with rocks kicked up by the ducted fans.