Mechanical engineering could allow people to control aerial vehicles without pilot training.
Hover vehicles are a staple of science fiction, with some notable examples being Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder in Star Wars: A New Hope and Return of the Jedi‘s Speeder bikes. Thanks to a California-based engineering firm, that sci-fi fantasy is becoming a reality. Aerofex has resurrected a design abandoned in the 1960s to make an intuitive aerial vehicle that can be flown without pilot training.
As aerospace engineer and Aerofex founder Mark De Roche explains, the vehicle could be responsible for “lowering the threshold of flight, down to the domain of ATVs.” It’s controlled by a mechanical system with controlled by two knee-level bars that respond to the pilot’s movement and balance. Using a simple mechanical system, instead of complicated electronics or artificial intelligence, makes piloting the hover vehicle easy to learn, giving more people quicker access to areas without roads or methods of transportation. Some of the “unique advantages” of the craft include “flight within trees, close to walls, and under bridges.”
Currently, the vehicle is undergoing manned tests at heights of 15 feet, with a maximum speed of about 30 miles per hour. Don’t rush out to the store to get your own, though, as Aerofex currently has no plans to sell a manned version. Instead, it will be used to develop unmanned drones, which could utilize the same hover technology to deliver supplies or perform other tasks.
Source & Image: Yahoo News