July 8, 2010

Airborne Personal Mobility Innovation

On the dawn after the first night-flight of a solar plane, we've decided to take a look at the innovative concepts currently in development by Nasa and others. With real life working flying cars and jetpacks, for anyone thats a fan of The Jetsons or Rocketeer, this one is definitely for you!


The Terrafugia Transition achieved first flight on March 5th, 2009 in Plattsburgh, NY. The Transition is a roadable aircraft, or more commonly referred to by the public as a "flying car". It has amazing been given a licence to fly by the FAA in the United States. (See video below for more details). 


The puffin is an airplane concept created by NASA aerospace engineer Mark Moore. The vehicle is designed for personal flight and utilizes an electric engine. The airplane would be 3.7m long with a 4.4m wingspan and take-off and land from a vertical position. The user would essentially stand up in the plane and be able to fly with their head poking out through the glass tip of the plane. Because the vehicle uses an electric engine it would have no emissions, presenting an environmentally friendly flying option for a single user. Moore estimates that the plane could fly in the air at around 241 km/h with a battery range of 80km. (See video below for more details). 


Yves Rossy aka 'The Fusionman' is a real life Buzz Lightyear

In May 2008, the world's first man to fly with fitted jet-fuel powered wings strapped to his back took to the skies. Swiss pilot Yves Rossy, who calls himself Fusionman, wowed spectators as he soared 2500 metres above the small town of Bex in western Switzerland. Rossy jumped from a plane at 8,000 feet and completed several loops at 300 kms per hour, using only his body to change position for five minutes over the Swiss Alps.

Rocketeer (1991) Trailer (One of my first visits to the cinema as a child was to see Rocketeer!)

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