Feeds

VTOL gyro-copter flying car mates with killer robot

Droid jump-choppers to be offered to military

Intelligent flash storage arrays

No amount of spin has sufficed to get it off the ground so far

Despite all this cunningness, however, Carter Aviation's plan to develop designs and then licence them to manufacturers have suffered from one major problem: no manufacturers have come forward since the firm began work in 1994. The company has been restricted to building small prototype craft, though there have sometimes been plans to offer a kit craft that buyers would assemble for themselves.

This week that has finally changed. AAI Corp, a unit of US aerospace heavyweight Textron Systems, has inked an exclusive 40-year deal covering use of CarterCopter tech in unmanned aircraft for the next 40 years. AAI, among other things, makes the Shadow flying robot employed in large numbers by the US Army. AAI is reportedly interested in deploying robo-CarterCopters to deliver supplies to isolated US bases overseas, an idea gaining some traction lately.

The amount paid by AAI for the SR/C unmanned rights is undisclosed, but it should allow Carter to proceed on the current manned prototype, a 2+2-seater Personal Air Vehicle - or flying car by any other name. This little beauty is expected to be able to make a vertical jump liftoff with full fuel and 1000lb of payload and cruise at better than 200mph, handily trumping the Terrafugia Transition - which is slower, lifts less and can't do VTOL at all.

On the other hand the planned CarterCopterCar requires a parking space or garage 45 foot across, and can't fold its wings and take to the road the way a Transition can. Also, the Transition has actually flown, which the Carter PAV hasn't. Various less-snazzy SR/C designs have taken to the skies, but they don't seem to be easy to pilot - even experienced ex-military test pilots have had some mishaps at their controls.

It just could be that the first CarterCopters to go to work will, in fact, be robotic ones from AAI. After all, one of the many things necessary for a true flying car - one that anyone could have - would be a robot autopilot more or less capable of flying the machine without assistance. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.