Feeds

DARPA, US Marines team on proper flying car project

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

It'll be no good telling the girls 'I'm a pilot' any more.

Blade Runner 'Spinner' flying car blueprints, co-opted for the US military

Something a bit more like this is what we want

The TX would be different, though. DARPA specifies that it should be capable of completely unmanned flight operations, much like the robotic supply choppers also being examined by the Marines right now. While the TX would generally fly with personnel aboard, they wouldn't be highly-trained officer-class pilots: any lance-corporal with the right tick in his personnel file would be able to pilot one, just as he might drive a Humvee.

In most cases, making a flight would call for nothing more demanding than selecting a destination from a preprogrammed menu or keying in some coordinates, though DARPA says that a "range of operation from fully autonomous to being able to have the operator make flight steering commands in real time" is "desirable".

But how is all this to be achieved?

DARPA have some suggestions:

Technologies of interest may include: hybrid electric drive, advanced batteries, adaptive wing structures, ducted fan propulsion systems, advanced lightweight heavy fuel engines, lightweight materials, advanced sensors, and flight controls for stable transition from vertical to horizontal flight.

It's also specified that "contained propulsion (no exposed rotors) is highly recommended" and that "disk loading should be minimized to maximize VTOL operational capability".

This would seem to point to large, low-disc-loaded ducted fans as the VTOL propulsion, perhaps swivelling tiltrotor-style to provide thrust for forward flight or using venetian-blind slats as in the Israeli "AirMule" vehicle. Something along the same general lines as the human hover-gunships from Avatar, maybe, though hopefully rather more effective.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.