Could this be the future of personal air transportation? "Simon Scott, the owner of Falx Air, an aviation company based in Staffordshire, England has been designing Falx Air's hybrid-electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) craft for the past eight years. He's currently bench-testing components in the hopes of getting a single-passenger prototype ready to be certified in January by the Civil Aviation Authority, Britain's equivalent of the FAA.
The key to his design is a hybrid system that doesn't rely on batteries to do most of the work. The engine powers two generators, which directly feed two electric motors on each wing. A battery pack stores leftover power from the generator but kicks in only to provide a power boost during takeoffs, landings and the transition to forward flying.
The hybrid system keeps the craft small and light, and therefore fast and agile. By eliminating heavy mechanical parts like jet engines and gear boxes, Scott hopes to keep the single-passenger version under 1,000 pounds. And because an engine that only has to power generators can be smaller than one that has to drive rotors, the vehicle uses less fuel too."
Falx Air Hybrid Tilt-Rotor Chopper Specs
Dimensions: 202 in. (nose to tail); 220 in. (wingtip to wingtip)
Weight: 980 lbs. (empty); 1,212 lbs. max. (including pilot)
Cruising speed: 180 mph
Top speed: 270 mph
Range: 435 miles
Cost: $1.5 million
Courtesy of Popular Science