Awesome: Israelis to Test "Flying Jeep" in Two Months


flying jeep.jpgSo, when does the civilian version come out?

Paris Airshow -- Israeli developers working on a ducted-fan flying hovercar say that a full-size, turbine driven unmanned prototype will fly "within two months". Flight tests with a smaller electrically-driven model, they say, have validated their basic technology.The Reg flying-car desk spoke today with Janina Frankel-Yoeli, marketing veep at Urban Aeronautics of Israel, at the Paris Airshow. Urban Aeronautics prefer to call their designs "fancraft", thereby distinguishing them from hovercraft, which can't actually fly."We've solved the three basic problems of ducted-fan craft," he says. "Our craft are stable, they can lift heavy loads, and they can fly fast - better than 100 knots."
The US Army and Air Force tried to get something like this going for decades, but could never work out the kinks. The tactical benefits, particularly in casevac and urban combat, would be immeasurable -- though I do wonder if it'd perform in high altitude environments like the Hindu Kush. Either way, hats off to the Israelis for getting the ever elusive flying car technology this far along.Exit question: who remembers this warlock?--John Noonan
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