With $4 gas prices looking like a permanent fact of life, consumer interest in jetpacks and other forms of personal air transport might soon go from whimsy to reality. That seems to be driving the engineers at Tecnologia Aeroespacial Mexicana, whose latest project is the "Libelula Rocket Helicopter."
Don't laugh. This may look like something from a '50s sci-fi movie, but its creators have already produced a "Rocket Belt" built to custom specifications. The personal chopper could be also be more reliable than its full-size counterparts because, Dvice says, "by using tiny rocket motors … Read more
What could possibly be more annoying than buzzing your friends and co-workers with a "PicoZ Micro Helicopter"? Try the new "PicoZ MX-1 Extreme," which makes the bold claim of being "the world's smallest remote control chopper."
The difference might seem minuscule to the untrained eye--4.6 inches vs. the original's 5.3 inches--but if you're of Lilliputian origins, the discrepancy is massive. Other than that, Coolest-Gadgets says the quarter-ounce copter has many of the same features as its older and larger sibling, including twin channels, a built-in lithium battery, adjustable trim … Read more
How fast can a helicopter go? If Sikorsky Aircraft's plans work out, the answer could be: a lot faster than is possible right now.
For several years, Sikorsky has been working on what it calls X2 technology, a suite of systems that it says could let a helicopter "cruise comfortably" at 250 knots. That would be a far zippier pace than most current rotary wing aircraft can handle. The UH-60L variant of Sikorsky's Blackhawk, for instance, can fly at about 150 knots.
The tilt-wing MV-22 Osprey, meanwhile, can hit speeds upward of 240 knots, but it'… Read more
Helicopters are noisy beasts; it's just in their nature. But for one mission at the tail end of the Vietnam War, a combination of ARPA funds and hard work by the aircraft division of Hughes Tool led to the development of a chopper known as the Quiet One. The Hughes 500P wasn't totally silent, but it was about as surreptitious as a helicopter could be, and in December 1972, it flew in a CIA mission to wiretap a key communications line for North Vietnamese forces. Helicopter historian James R. Chiles (The God Machine) tells the full story of … Read more
All good things must come to an end. Eventually, your co-workers will become immune to your flying toy antics, and you'll need to come up with some other way to irritate them. So here's the answer you've been looking for: the black helicopter.
This way, not only can you buzz them at will, but you can also prey on their paranoid tendencies at the same time--the best of all conspiratorial worlds. The "Black Ghost," as first seen on Coolest-Gadgets, has "full altitude and directional control," which is a good thing because it'll … Read more
Like its diminutive avian namesake, Boeing's A160T Hummingbird is a whiz at hovering. And it turns out the prototype aircraft can also hoist a hefty load.
The unmanned helicopter this week flew for eight hours--its longest flight to date--and as high as 5,000 feet while burdened with a 1,000-pound payload. The test flight goes a long way toward proving the Hummingbird fit for use in military operations, where it could ferry supplies, sensors or weapons to the battlefield, perform surveillance and target acquisition, or even rescue pilots who've been shot down.
Over time, Boeing wants to … Read more
If it weren't for the rocket cam, we might just be tempted to get the new "Radio Control Recon Camera Helicopter" spotted on the Discovery Store. After all, we can think of no better way to irritate friends and loved ones while recording their flush-faced reactions the whole while.
The temptation to fly in every direction to avoid furious swats is almost irresistable, especially when viewed on the 2-inch LCD of its remote control from a safe distance, with two sets of blades to boot ("beginner and pro"). The video duration isn't specified, but … Read more
If you see this bird hovering outside your window, you may be in trouble.
The Boeing A160T Hummingbird, the latest in unmanned chopper stealth and endurance, is under serious consideration by the U.S. Special Operations Command. Possible missions would include direct action, precision resupply and hairy extractions from behind enemy lines.
Remote-controlled helicopters are nothing new, as Boeing is quick to point out. This one is based on an old Robinson R22, which is still used as a trainer and to round up cattle. The main feature that makes the A160T unique is that it uses a rigid rotor … Read more
OK, so the "Sky Challenger Micro Helicopter" can't really shoot down other airborne toys, but it's still worth it. For one thing, you can give a pair of them to those maturity-challenged acquaintances and send them out to the parking lot so they can shoot at each other instead of bothering you. While they can't knock each other out of the sky, according to Tech Digest, … Read more