We got our first look at Japan’s Defense Ministry’s spherical flying machine earlier this year, but at a recent technology expo in Tokyo the hovering ball got the full coming-out treatment, complete with public demos eliciting “ooohs” and “aaaahs.” The video below shows the drone doing everything it was designed to do: zipping around omnidirectionally, rolling across the floor, and staying aloft even when it strikes--or is struck by--an obstacle.
Just after the new year, DARPA put out a broad agency announcement requesting a flying car, specifically a one-to four-person, vertical takeoff and landing-capable vehicle that can negotiate off-road conditions as well as take to the skies. Today, Fort Worth-based AVX Aircraft has responded with a proposal, releasing some mock-ups of a dual-rotor, ducted-fan driven aircraft that's also road-ready.
DARPA didn't reveal much at first about its "Transformer TX" program aimed at developing a flying car for the military. But now the full proposal has been published, and shows that the Pentagon agency hopes to get a prototype airborne by 2015, The Register reports.
The mad scientists want a vertical-takeoff vehicle that handles like an off-road-capable SUV on the ground, and can cruise like a light single-engine aircraft at altitudes of up to 10,000 feet.
After cost overruns, a series of delays, and almost a decade of hype, the F-35 Lighting finally performed a vertical landing for the first time. Yesterday at 1 P.M., after descending from a 150-foot-high hover, the test plane touched down on the tarmac at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. This is a significant step forward for the F-35, as its vertical takeoff and landing capability are crucial to the fighter's role as a replacement for the aging Harrier jet.
To perfect the vertical and short takeoff and landing ability of the F-35 Lightning II, test pilots have been taking off and landing at progressively shorter distances and slower speeds, building up to the final, true vertical boost. And today, engine manufacturers Pratt and Whitney released video of the slowest, shortest takeoff and landing yet, in which the jet cruises to a stop at 130 knots.