The manufacturer of the iconic AK-47 developed a prototype flying vehicle consisting of eight rotors, a pair of joysticks and electric batteries.
The manufacturer of the iconic machine gun AK-47 has decided to become involved in the market for flying vehicles. Kalashnikov Concern, part of Russian state defense giant Rostec, unveiled the still nameless prototype on Monday, September 26, Popular Mechanics reported. Although developers consider it to be a flying car, it looks more like a flying motorcycle.
The vehicle consists of 16 rotors that are joined by a macro skeleton metal, a pair of joysticks for the control of the handling and what appear to be a pair of batteries placed under the driver’s place. Since it does not have diesel engine, it does not use gasoline, which could mean that the batteries have a duration of half an hour or less to fly. At the end of the video appears the prototype with the overlaid chassis that gives an idea of the version that could commercialize.
Their applications are likely to be used for military purposes in tasks such as exploration and communication, as the manufacturer already makes a wide variety of military small arms, from the modernized versions of AK-47 used by the Russian army to the rifles of sniper and guided artillery rounds.
Although the design is a breakthrough, this type of vehicle will still have several restrictions. Primordially, the flight time restricted to the battery life as well as the payload capacity. Once this has more innovative solutions, then the concept could be extended to vehicles of all weights and sizes.
This is not the first time anyone has tried to make a flying vehicle or propulsion using a rotor. Earlier, the Hiller VZ-1 Pawnee aircraft model used conductive fans to fly and the Lackner HZ-1 Aerocic used counter-rotating helicopter rotor blades. Colin Fuerze also unveiled last year a motorcycle that can fly for short periods of time and earlier this year the Russian company Hoversurf unmanned a prototype called Scorpion-3, a minivan with electric motor. However, the most similar model to that of Kalashnikov is Kitty Hawk Flyer by Google co-founder Larry Page, who has promised that his electric vehicle will go on sale later this year and will not require a pilot’s license.
The trend of the development of flying vehicles is international. The United States Department of Defense recently announced an agreement with Malloy Aeronautics, a UK-based company, to develop a similar vehicle for the Army and the Dubai Highway and Transportation Authority signed an agreement with Volocopter and Ehang to test their planes in this city later this year.