back to article Israel to test ducted-fan robot air jeep 'within two months'

Israeli developers working on a ducted-fan flying hovercar say that a full-size, turbine driven unmanned prototype will fly "within two months". Flight tests with a smaller electrically-driven model, they say, have validated their basic technology. The Urban Aeronautics Mule being readied for testing in Israel Sorry sir, …


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  1. Steven 23

    Is it just me...

    or does that look like a giant dual slot graphics card.

  2. Jan 7

    One word:


    with a capital 'W'.

  3. Col 4


    Um... where are the wheels, if it's supposed to be a car? Am I missing something here?

  4. David Jones 3

    Talk about beating your head against a brick wall

    Stability isn't the problem. It's power needed for a given payload. Smaller fans need more power than a large helicopter rotor disc. It takes 400hp to fly a small copter like the Cayuse with a 1 tonne payload. This thing might need twice the power, for less payload. So it can get closer to buildings than a copter? So what.

  5. David Jones 3
    Jobs Horns


    Now I know they're not serious.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    Haven't they seen the Harry Potter movies, with Ron's flying car? This stuff has been around for years, and none of this mumbo jumbo about fans and noise. FFS, the thing even goes invisible on the push of a button.

    And don't even get me started on Star Trek...

  7. A B 3

    Thunderbirds are GO

    Cue theme music.

  8. GeorgeTuk

    A real advantage?

    Its really difficult to see what true advantage this could have over the traditional helicopter other than straight line speed.

  9. The Jase

    About bloody time

    J day is already 5 years late, and now they are only starting to make Hunter Killers.

  10. jeffrey 1


    "hover craft which can't fly" Stick a pair of wings on a suitable designed hovercraft and it can fly, using the ground effect. makes for a scary yet awesome vehicle

  11. Andy 17
    Paris Hilton

    This may be a stupid question but..

    ..I shall ask it anyway.

    Won't this thing just crush everything it 'fiies' over?

  12. Nir
    Dead Vulture

    What? No "Israelis are bad because they kill Palestinian" comments?

    Seriously, people, it's an article about Israeli technology! Isn't anyone going to threaten a boycott or something? I'm truly disappointed. I shall be removing El Reg from my bookmarks.

  13. adnim


    will they crush the skulls of Palestinians with these things?

  14. Anonymous Coward


    Looks pretty vulnerable to an RPG

  15. LuMan


    But ever since the XP-38 came out they're just not in demand any more...

    Mine's the one with the Death Star plans in the pocket..

  16. Simon Williams

    re Hmm

    @AC 14:54 What, vulnerable to a Role Playing Game? Which one, and will it down a helicopter, too?

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Intriguing if it works

    With the usual thrust 2 weight issues of course.

    That's pretty much it for the time being.

  18. Doug Glass

    Better Version

  19. Andus McCoatover


    Pilot gets blasted by this?

    Dammit, I've a free trip to Cuba.

  20. Charles Manning

    The answer to all questions above:

    It does not need to be practical.

    It does not need to be quiet.

    It does not need to be able to land at the supermarket to pick up groceries.

    This thing is BLOKE!

  21. Bob Merkin
    Black Helicopters

    Looks very familiar

    There was a GI Joe vehicle from the mid-80s called the Sky Hawk that looked almost identical to this thing. Even as an 8 year old, I wasn't exactly sure how such an aircraft was supposed to fly. The idea of "center of mass" probably never entered the toy designers' heads.

    Black helicopter, because, well, COBRA had black helicopters.

  22. Des
    Paris Hilton


    "A real advantage?

    By GeorgeTuk Posted Tuesday 16th June 2009 13:24 GMT

    Its really difficult to see what true advantage this could have over the traditional helicopter other than straight line speed."

    Not even that as the helicopter speed record belongs to the Westland Lynx (albeit a souped up version) set about 20 years ago. The speed limit for helicopter being the point at which the rotors travel supersonically.

    Paris because...

  23. James Pickett


    "could yet be a boon to the military and perhaps the emergency services"

    Hmm. Can just see an ambulance version landing next to a stretchered patient in the field, the downblast covering him in dust and assorted crap while blowing over his drip...

  24. Paul Tomblin
    Thumb Up

    Moller eat your heart out

    Moller has been faffing around for 25+ years promising something like this "any day now" and producing nothing except dubious stock certificates. These guys are going to make it work, and do it in 1/10th the time with 1/10th the hype.

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