Feeds

DARPA, US Marines team on proper flying car project

Blade Runner style sky-buggy Humvee/Jeep/Prius combo

Security for virtualized datacentres

Big news for flying-car lovers today, as US military boffinry chiefs have unveiled full details of their plan to produce an excellent flying Humvee or sky-jeep type vehicle - and have a prototype flying by 2015.

Plans for the so-called "Transformer TX" were revealed in Pentagon budget documents last year, but details were sketchy. Now a full announcement (pdf) has been made, inviting proposals both from companies or organisations capable of designing the entire vehicle and others who would develop enabling technologies.

US Marine Corps V-22 Ospreys flying in formation. Credit: USMC

A bit less of this, please

One need hardly add, of course, that the military boffinry shop in question is none other than DARPA: the agency which, just occasionally, produces the technological equivalent of the complete works of Shakespeare - but which also cranks out a hell of a lot of monkey sonnets.

In this case, the federal techno bad boys of DARPA have decided to have a crack at a real, no-shit flying car: and probably not just an ordinary car, but an off-road one to boot. They don't want a light plane that you can drive on a road, like the Terrafugia Transition. They don't want a paramotor, either. According to the Transformer TX announcement issued yesterday:

The Government’s envisioned concept consists of a robust ground vehicle that is capable of configuring into a VTOL [Vertical Take Off and Landing] air vehicle with a maximum payload capability of approximately 1,000 lbs.

The sky-jeep should be able to carry four fully-equipped troops, or alternatively one stretcher and one medic. It should be no bigger than 30 feet long by 8.5' wide and 9' high in ground configuration - on the order of two Hummers nose-to-tail - and should have wheels and suspension giving "road performance similar to an SUV" and "capable of handling light off-road travel".

In addition to being a capable ground vehicle, the TX should be able to lift off and land "without forward motion" and thereafter climb at least one unit upward for every six moved forward at sea level, or a minimum of 1:10 at higher altitudes. It should cruise in forward flight mode at speeds "representative of a light single-engine aircraft" and be able to achieve altitudes of 10,000 feet.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.