January 21, 2010

The propeller-heads at NASA have designed an electric, one-person aircraft with VTOL capability and a cruising speed of perhaps 300 mph. Range isn't particularly impressive right now, and it would seem the whole thing is more concept than vehicle, but it makes for a nifty idea. As far as safety goes, something that small and light would almost certainly be a candidate for a safety parachute. It won't stop an erstwhile Buffy the Cellphone Slayer from running into a building trying to adjust her makeup, but it would definitely save the pilot's skin if the batteries conked or the wing fell off.

Posted by scott at January 21, 2010 05:40 AM

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It'd be really interesting to see the parachute set up with that design. In a regular airplane, and from what I've seen of how the parachutes are loaded, the props aren't really a danger to the cords. With this, maybe you can do it, but I'd worry about wobble and the tendency to go tail down, which is bad for paracords.

Of course, I could be completely wrong on the design, CoM, and flight dynamics, too.

Posted by: Ron ap Rhys on January 21, 2010 01:00 PM
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