Feeds

VTOL gyro-copter flying car mates with killer robot

Droid jump-choppers to be offered to military

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.