Boy, do we want this thing. NASA has slapped up a YouTube video of their amazing Puffin personal aircraft: a mean, lean, hover-capable, electric-powered, super-quiet personal VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) flying machine.
Sadly, we’re only getting a computer generated animation of the aircraft at this stage, but the concept seems sound with the Puffin cleverly splitting its tail into four pieces to serve as landing gear, with flaps on the wings keeping the aircraft stable as it lifts and descends.
Measuring up at 12-feet height with a 13.5-feet wingspan, the craft can cruise along at 150 miles per hour and max out at 300 miles per hour, and can reach – in theory at least – 30,000 feet.
With current technology the range is limited to just 50 miles – enough for a jaunt to work and (more likely) a battlefield deployment – but with battery performance fast improving, range should increase dramatically.
We’ll take two on free trial please, NASA. Thanks.