The world has been taken with the idea of a flying car for decades now. The thought of taking to the air to avoid traffic and go where roads can’t take you is undeniably appealing to most. A Russian defense manufacturer called the Kalashnikov Concern has unveiled a new prototype transportation vehicle that has no name.
It looks like the love child of a snowmobile and a quad-rotor drone and is able to fly thanks to 16 sets of rotors arrayed around the vehicle. The company, named after the inventor of the venerable AK-47 assault rifle, says that the flying vehicle could have military applications down the road. A small, flying vehicle such as this could have applications for scouting, communications,and other military needs.
The first demonstration of the flying vehicle was made this week. It’s controlled by a pair of joysticks the rider holds onto and has a metal frame with skids to support it on landing. The vehicle appears to be very simple. There is no combustion engine on the vehicle, it appears to be powered by batteries.
Those batteries look to be in the rectangular pods that sit behind the rider. The big question with this prototype is one that is unanswered in the video, which you can see below, and that is just how far with the thing fly. We have no idea of the flight range, it’s likely to only be able to run for a half hour or so per charge.
There is also no indication of how fast the vehicle can fly. The video does show that the vehicle is stable in the air and appears to be very controllable. It’s unclear but how much weight the vehicle can carry. Directional control is likely handled by simply adjusting the rpm of rotors in different locations, altitude is presumably controlled by increasing or decreasing rpm of those 16 rotors. American defense contractor Lockheed Martin does have a laser system that is very capable of shooting down small drone aircraft that could be bad for this sort of flying vehicle in a combat situation.
SOURCE: Popular Mechanics