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‘Flying Car’ Landing Soon?

BP Graphic by Ezra Fax

BP Graphic by Ezra Fax


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By Jonah Sanders, Staff Writer

Urban Aeronautics, an Israeli tech firm, may be just a few more years away from completing their so-called “flying car,” after 10 years of research.

The company’s Cormorant helicopter uses internal rotors instead of the standard large outer propellers of typical helicopters. As a result, Urban Aeronautics CEO Rafi Yoeli claims that the Cormorant won’t get caught in power lines or other hazards that external propellers pose to pilots.

“Just imagine a dirty bomb in a city and a chemical substance or something else and this vehicle can come in robotically, remotely piloted, come into the street and decontaminate an area,” said Yoeli, according to the Jerusalem Post, which has posted a video of the Cormorant flying.

Three months ago, the Cormorant had its first successful fully automated flight, which can be viewed on Youtube.  When it was over, company spokesmen reported that while there were still issues to resolve in the craft’s sensors, the bladeless technology worked as expected.

Urban Aeronautics expects the helicopter to be sold to militaries beginning in 2020, at a projected price of $14 million each, and to revolutionize military capabilities in future wars.  For now, though, it still has not met the requirements of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

According to SAS Physics instructor Ms. Tamara Gidanian, propellers provide a pilot with navigation in one axis at a time — either horizontal, vertical or sloped —  while the new type of rotor allows the vehicle to move in three axes simultaneously.

Additionally, Ms. Gidanian stated that with one internal rotor instead of  heavy external blades, the Cormorant would lighter than most commercial and some military grade helicopters which, in turn, would let it  “maneuver easier and more precisely,”  she said.

If the project stays on schedule, it’s possible future Israeli army draftees and volunteers, possibly even from today’s ninth grade at Shalhevet, will be assigned to learn how to pilot the “flying car.”

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‘Flying Car’ Landing Soon?