Know What We Need? Some Flying Hummers

October 6, 2010


Flying Hummers: I think I saw them on the menu at a Cirque du Soleil brothel. What?! I was writing an exposé! Just kidding, but I did write it off as a work-related expense. Business savvy: this guy. DARPA wants flying "Transformer" hummers for the military.

AAI Corporation, a Maryland-based aerospace and defense company, won a $3.05 million contract with Darpa to see if it the technology behind the Transformer can, well, get off the ground, Aviation Week reports. Based on so-called "compound helicopter" technology that the company is developing with Carter Aviation Technologies, the gist is that AAI's design for the Transformer envisions it to carry four soldiers on the road as a car, but the rotor blades on top allow it to take off vertically into the air. The car's takeoff functions are supposed to be automated, so soldiers or marines don't have to be aviators to get it off the ground.

With the threat of improvised explosive devices on the rise, the defense agency wanted an "unprecedented capability to avoid traditional and asymmetrical threats while avoiding road obstructions." That meant, basically, a flying car -- one that could perform all manner of tasks, from "strike and raid, intervention, interdiction, insurgency/counterinsurgency, reconnaissance, medical evacuation and logistical supply." Oh, and it has to be able to climb to 10,000 feet and travel 250 miles on a single tank of gas, meaning it's got to be green.

So yeah, green flying hummers. That seems reasonable. I mean, we already have green driving Hummers right. *somebody whispering* Oh. Well at least it was only $3 million.

Darpa Moves a Step Closer to Its Flying Humvee [wired]

Thanks to Devin and ptitz, who don't want to see flying hummers as much as flying monkeys. Like in the Wizard of Oz? Those things are creepy as f***!

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