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Convertible Cargo Vehicle/Helicopter Makes First Flight

It’s not fair. I still don’t have a flying car, but the U.S. military may soon have flying trucks. Advanced Tactics has successfully completed the first flight test of the Black Knight Transformer, a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft that operates as both a truck and a helicopter.

According to the company, the Black Knight is the world’s largest multicopter that is controlled and stabilized with propeller speed. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 4,400 lbs. On the ground, the independent engine and transaxle can reach speeds up to 70mph. It is stabilized and controlled using differential thrust between opposing sets of prop-rotors. As it can be remotely controlled, the vehicle could be used for unmanned cargo resupply missions, as well as civilian package delivery and fire fighting applications.

During the flight test, the aircraft was remotely piloted. It completed multiple short hover flights at less than 10 ft. above ground.

The company began working on the vehicle in 2010 with federal funding.

Source: Advanced Tactics

About Brian Albright

Brian Albright is a contributing editor to Digital Engineering. Send e-mail about this article to DE-Editors@digitaleng.news.