back to article Israeli ducted-fan robo sky-jeep in hover trials

The Israeli designers of a radical flying jeep style vertical-takeoff-and-landing "fancraft" have announced long-belated flight tests. However, the trials of the pilotless "AirMule" have so far seen the aircraft tethered and restricted to just two feet off the ground. The AirMule in initial hover testing. Credit: Urban Aero …


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  1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Hope they remeber to place the turbine exhausts *carefully*

    Just one of the X22 design "issues"

    But it does open the envelope of airborne vehicles a bit.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    In the event that this is a comment...


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Will it be resistant to RPGs in these urban environments?

    Could be ideal for your urban fighter, pin down a combat unit and then have them order in a medivac skyjeep... Allow it to land pick up wounded, then allow it to rise to a optimum hieght and then bang! AvGas and shrapnel from now defunft skyjeep rains down on the rest of the unit in the concrete canyons!

    1. Brutus


      And as a second point, there will most likely be procedures stating that the flying coffin doesn't lift straight up, but moves away from the LZ at the same time.

      Thirdly, who's to say that it hasn't been fitted with a couple of .50 cals for removing the hostiles on the way in :)

      1. TimeMaster T

        Remember who is building this

        I think some .50 cals or other weapons suitable to an urban fire fight are guaranteed, and probably some others that are overkill for urban conflicts. Like the Israelis really care about non-Israeli casualties.

        Good tech though, and I'm glad to see its being developed into something usable.

  4. Led boot

    Hello HK

    So are Palestinian "evil doers" going to be running from HKs by the end of the decade?

  5. Alan Firminger


    Palestinian fighters are not idiots, except in international politics.

  6. Peter Ford

    Ducted fan?

    What, like a Harrier you mean - in service so long ago that it's almost obsolete now?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Like it...

    I like it because it looks like something out of "TERMINATOR: Rise of the Machines".

    Ok, its a poor reason but frankly I don't a lot to satisfy me.

  8. Alex-TheManfromUncle


    Ah, finally we can move closer to a Dick-ensian future!

    Next stop, can we have these available for the public (with the ability to have 4-5 seats, climate control, and a nice stereo!

  9. Max_Normal

    @ Peter Ford, no, not like a Harrier.

    A Harrier uses jet engine thrust from the main engine vectored through nozzles mounted on the side of the aircraft. Ducted fans have been used extensively for decades though, especially in Hovercraft and R/C models of jets.

    Apologies for my pedantry.

  10. ian 22

    "access to... the window of a high-rise building"

    So something like this could be used to rescue people trapped in burning high-rise buildings... such as the World Trade Center. Although I doubt there would be enough to hand for 3,000 evacuees.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    "access to... the window of a high-rise building" #

    Indeed, so rich oil sheikhs could use it to queue jump the lifts on the 'Burj Khalifa'.

    You could be off the tower and on your mega yacht before mere millionaires had reached their penthouses!?

    paris, as she would like the would largest erection...

  12. Ascylto
    Black Helicopters


    I WANT one.

    Why is this not in the Innovations Catalogue?

  13. Graham Bartlett

    And when the engine dies...?

    Seems to me like this'll have the same problem as any "flying car", namely the question of what happens when you lose the engine.

    A Harrier has wings, so it's entirely possible to glide to a moderately-unsafe landing, or at least to steer it somewhere other than the middle of a city before you eject. And helicopters are designed to autorotate, using the air resistance of the spinning rotor as a parachute (in fact they can't be certified airworthy if they can't autorotate). The problem with this beasty is that its rotor disk is tiny - there's no way it's going to autorotate to a safe landing. So if you lose the engine, gravity sucks.

    Admittedly the V-22 Osprey is going ahead even though it's unable to glide or autorotate, so this wouldn't be the first time that the military have overruled safety for gadgetry. Still doesn't make it a good idea though.

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