Those futuristic flying cars movie-goers frequently see in science-fiction thrillers will be coming to real life in 2012, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
According to Aviation Week, program manager Stephen Waller said both AAI Corp. and Lockheed Martin have produced “feasible designs” for DARPA’s Transformer program and demonstrations are scheduled for 2015.
GCN.com reports the “flying humvee” is designed as a four-seat vehicle that could be piloted by anyone with a pilots license. It will be able to withstand small arms fire, capable of off-road driving, automated take-off, and vertical lift and landing.
It is expected to be able to fly up to 250 miles on a tank of fuel and reach altitudes of up to 10,000 feet.
Although the idea sounds brilliant, there are many intricacies that must be configured by builders of the flying vehicle. It must be comfortable enough to fit four people (likely a 1,000 lb. capacity) and heavy equipment but also needs to have room for a strong enough engine to motor around in the sky.
DARPA made the original announcement in April 2010.