The US Defense Advance Research Project Agencyor DARPA has announced it is “seeking innovative solutions that would aid in the demonstration of a roadable flyable vehicle” - in other words, they want to build a real, honest -to-gosh flying car. Move over Hanna-Barbera!
DARPA is seeking design bids for this Transformer TX concept, which is envisioned as “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.”
This amazing vehicle, if it’s really built, will be shaped similar to an SUV, about the size and length of two Hummers nose to tail, and be capable of handling light off-road travel. The TX should also be able to lift off and land “without forward motion”, climbing to around 10,000 ft. and be able to cruise forward at speeds “represenative of a light single-engine aircraft.”
This cool hover car would be able to travel up to 250 miles before refueling. DARPA has some specific mission plans for the TX. They also plan that it be capable of unmanned flight operations, similar to robotic supply choppers now being considered by the Marine Corps.
However this plays out, once again it proves the statement that what science fiction can dream of can become real science. Now when will this be available for consumers, at least as a test drive?