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NASA Designs Electric Personal Flight Vehicle for Terrestrial Use
In brief: NASA unveiled the design for the Puffin (named, obviously, for it's shape similar to the bird). It's a single-occupant, electric vehicle that takes off and lands like a helicopter and flies like a plane.
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The Puffin was originally designed as a covert military insertion and egress flier. The idea was to James Bond into the scene of the action with this quiet machine with a low heat signature, jump out in the tux and win a few hands of Baccarat while drinking a shaken-not-stirred, and then make your getaway.
The military shows no interest, however, so NASA is revealing the design to the public.
The Puffin does vertical takeoffs and landings, is capable of 300mph using its two propeller-driven electric engines, and stands only about 10 feet high (3.7 meters) on the ground. The li-ion phosphate batteries are required to only put out enough juice for 60hp to get the plane up to speed.
Here's video of the virtual Puffin in action:
And so ...
Pretty cool and, while unlikely to see actual reality, this plane design is definitely forward-thinking.
Photo credits: NASA
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