All over the world, a handful of companies are creating what many have called the first wave of “real” flying vehicles. According to sources, many of these vehicles may be market-ready sooner than you think.
Tech Times has reported that according to Mattar al-Tayer, chief of Dubai’s Roads and Transportation Agency, a passenger-carrying drone known as the EHang 184 could begin regular operations in Dubai by early as July this year.
“This is not only a model. We have actually experimented with this vehicle flying in Dubai’s skies,” al-Tayer said.
The EHang 184’s main frame is made with FRP composites of carbon fiber and epoxy. It weighs about 530 pounds. It uses eight motors with a maximum output of 152 KW and is designed to fly at a maximum altitude of roughly two miles. It also has a total maximum flight time of 30 minutes and a range of 31 miles.
“The 184 AAV has embedded with EHang fail safe system. If any components malfunction or disconnect, the aircraft will immediately land in the nearest possible area to ensure safety. The communication is encrypted and each AAV has its independent key,” the company’s website says.
In The Netherlands, another company has created what is being called the world’s first commercial flying car – the Pal-V One Liberty. The company recently announced the car’s on sale price – £425,000, with the first customer deliveries scheduled for the end of 2018.
The Pal-V’s frame is made with a combination of carbon fiber, aluminum and titanium. In total, the flying car has a maximum takeoff weight of 2,006 lbs. It can reach a maximum speed of 100 mph and has an 817-mile range. It’s also relatively eco-friendly at 31miles per gallon.
Finally, in the U.S., a Louisiana-based company, SkyRunner LLC, has created what it’s calling the world’s first flying off-road vehicle. The vehicle features a “hybrid composite chassis” consisting of carbon fiber body composites which work in tandem with air-hardened, heat-treated steel tubing. The chassis, according to SkyRunner, gives their vehicle a great strength-to-weight ratio.
The vehicle’s Polaris ProStar 1000 engine powers the ground system while a light-sport aircraft engine enables it to take flight. It uses parafoil wing technology to reach air speeds of 40 mph for a distance of 120 nautical miles.
“We set out to build the ultimate adventure vehicle but have since discovered it fills tremendous gaps as a tool,” said SkyRunner CEO Stewart Hamel. “Designed initially as a toy, the market has translated SkyRunner to be a low cost, high utility multimodal tool for ranchers, law enforcement, border security, and even department of defense agencies. With operating costs of approximately $50 an hour, SkyRunner will take you places no pickup truck or UTV can go and at a fraction of the cost of a helicopter.”