By Dean Murray via SWNS
These images show designs for a brand new personal flying vehicle that squats on bird-like legs, tilts its wings and performs a "near vertical" takeoff and landing.
The Macrobat is an all-electric aircraft despite the eye-catching avian design - which has already begun the prototype building and testing stage.
South African startup Phractyl (PHRontier for Agile Complex Technology sYstem evoLution) say they are serious about the concept.
They explain: “With the growing light sports aircraft market, the Macrobat offers an exhilarating flight experience to aviation enthusiasts.
''A larger, scaled variant is envisioned in the longer term, which can operate as an air taxi.”
Phractyl also suggests uses for transport of medical supplies, agricultural uses such as fertilizing fields, infrastructure inspection, and movement of high-value goods.
Currently configured as a one-seater, the Macrobat will have a 93 mile maximum range, be able to fly at 112 miles per hour and carry 330-pound payload.
Phractyl say: “We started by running some simulations to predict the aerodynamic performance of the wing. Next, a scaled prototype of the wing was built and experimentally tested, which confirmed the results obtained in the simulation environment.
“With the testing of the wing and propulsion concepts ongoing, we are currently working towards building a scale model prototype of the Macrobat to demonstrate the flight performance. Successful execution of this will allow us to commence with the full-scale engineering development.”
The firm is asking for investment in the project to progress it through to further design and manufacturer stages.
They add: “The primary focus of the aircraft is to address Africa’s most critical transportation challenges. In particular, this refers to the mobility of people and stuff, to areas that are not easily accessible by land-based transport infrastructure.
“Most aircraft wings are only able to lift after showing some gains in speed. The innovative Macrobat wing is able to generate lift at low speeds, thus ensuring safe, controlled landings, regardless of the state of the propulsion system.
''As a result of the pivotal (pun intended) wing design, the suitably named Electric Near-Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eNVTOL) delivers envious performance, even from uneven terrain.”
The Macrobat can operate as an aircraft, or as a drone. It can be piloted by a person, remotely piloted with a passenger, or remotely piloted with cargo only.
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