Originally conceived as a lookalike phone-booth based on a design from the UK, or something to 'teleport' us from A to B, the first prototype was entered into GoFly's challenge as a stand-up compartment with a drone at top and bottom.
As this exceeded the allowed dimensions in the competition, the lower drone was removed and thus it appeared at NASA Langley in the shape of a box for a seated passenger beneath a quadcopter overhead. Afterwards for the competition the prototype was flight-tested as an open-top compartment for a standing adult... more flying wheelie-bin than phone-box!
Post pandemic and with a view to the kit-build market in the USA, renewed effort was aimed at prototyping the simplest possible quadcopter based on the same build methodology. This features a seat mounted on a quadcopter which can be flown and tested independently.
Accordingly the prototype pictured here for flight-testing in the UK and US during 2021 is at half-scale, able to transport a child-sized dummy for flights of limited duration. Displays and flight-tests will be tailored to a crowd-funding campaign and broader investment platforms with a view to scaling the airframe to suit an adult operating under FAA Part 103.
The airframe itself is the result of three years of experiment, and intended for flights at the lowest level over land and sea. As a guide, ground-effect vehicles (GEVs) and hovercraft are considered as those which operate below ten feet (or three metres) in the UK.
Intended for assembly in hours, with an airframe reduced to the minimum parts-count and with few tools required for its construction, the product is an effort to stimulate a market for personal air vehicles (PAVs) beside flying taxis... with the final goal a conventional level of in-flight failure redundancy.