Is this the flying car you’ve been waiting for?
For the past several years, Israeli aerospace firm Urban Aeronautics has been developing a VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) aircraft that was first known as the AirMule, and is now called the Cormorant. Although the vehicle is aimed mainly at military applications, the company has previously mentioned that its Metro Skyways subsidiary is exploring the possibility of a civilian aircraft based on the technology. Today, the first images and details of that aircraft were released.
The vehicle is known as the CityHawk, a play on Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where the Wright brothers made their first flights.
It’s described as being similar in size and shape to the Cormorant, which is the product of another Urban Aeronautics subsidiary, Tactical Robotics. It will utilize that aircraft’s patented Fancraft technology – this means that its rotor blades will be internal, as opposed to sitting up top and exposed, like those of a helicopter. This feature will allow it to land and take off in close quarters, without risking damage to those blades.
The CityHawk will be capable of carrying four passengers, and will initially be flown by a human pilot. It will incorporate “a high degree of autonomy,” however, with plans calling for it to conduct fully robotic flights once the necessary infrastructure is in place – the Cormorant already flies autonomously. Continue reading about the future of flying cars.