Watch A Personal Flying Machine Built By Students Take Off

A Snowstorm in Singapore

Snowstorm In Flight

Snowstorm In Flight

Screenshot by author, from YouTube

Snow is all but impossible in the city-state of Singapore; for Singaporeans to experience it, they have a special Snow City indoor snow center. Perhaps that's why, when engineering students from the National University of Singapore made a brand-new electric flying machine, they decided to dub the contraption Snowstorm. The device seats one, and is capable of carrying them several feet into the air, like this:

Built over the course of a year, Snowstorm can carry up to about 150 pounds and can fly for up to 5 minutes. That's not a lot as aircraft go, but pretty good in the world of personal flying machines. The hexagonal machine has 24 motors, each powering a small propeller. The whole vehicle is battery-powered.

“Designing and building Snowstorm was a great learning opportunity for us. The toughest part of this engineering challenge was ensuring a good thrust to weight ratio to allow the craft to lift a person into the air. At every stage of our design, we constantly had to balance and consider trade-offs between the types of materials, their characteristics and weight. In some instances, we even 3D-printed parts, such as our landing gear mount, just so we can have a customised and optimal fit,” said Mr Shawn Sim, a third year NUS Engineering student.

Watch it (and listen to it roar) below: