No license? No problem.
A new type of “personal air vehicle” (PAV) is hitting the market, and it will allow everyday folks a chance to take flight — thanks to a technicality in Federal Aviation Administration policy.
The futuristic ride, a nearly $90,000 effort from aviation company Rotor X, can take an armchair pilot as fast as 63 mph inside the single-person cockpit — one that looks like a crossover of a drone and Santa’s sleigh.
“As an ultralight aircraft, there is no pilot’s license required in the United States,” Rotor X boasts of the “electric vertical take-off and landing” model they call Dragon.
Ultralight is right. Dragon — controlled by a three-axis joystick — is so small that it will be sold in a “quick-build kit” for home assembly.
Though it can’t handle more than 250-pound flyers, the PAV is easily foldable to fit into a truck or trailer, according to the company.
Dragon will be “a new standard for those with an appetite for excitement and adventure,” Rotor X says.
Currently, the battery-powered, sensor-driven aerial vehicle can soar for 20 minutes at a time before running out of power.
However, flight duration “is likely to increase in the future,” according to Rotor X, which mentions a second battery pack — it takes two hours to charge — is provided to get customers back in the air quickly.
Piloted test flights, which will follow the company’s recent remote-controlled “desert run” sizzle reel of Dragon in action, are slated for September. Rotor X plans to produce the craft by March, according to a release.
Safety-wise, Dragon is equipped with a “ballistic parachute” and “safety cage,” in addition to a four belted harness for pilot protection, plus “energy-absorbing helicopter landing gear.”
Even before Rotor X unleashes the Dragon to the public, they’ve already got the next generation in mind.
“We are regularly testing and developing new technology to improve our aircrafts,” the company stated.
“We are looking to design a two-seat version of DRAGON so that you’ll be able to share the fun with a companion.”
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