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Photos: Someday, a compact, fold-up helicopter

A German designer envisions a day when we'll be taxied around--or rushed to the hospital--in his mini-helicopter.

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James Martin
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1 of 5 Daniel Kocyba

Personal helicoptors

Innovations in personal transportation beyond the car often seem like the stuff of science fiction. But one day we might all be parking foldable mini-helicopters like these in our garages.

German industrial designer Daniel Kocyba has created the Hummel (German for bumble bee), a light helicopter design concept for two passengers, with potential uses ranging from air taxi to emergency, police, or army transportation, he says.

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2 of 5 Daniel Kocyba

Tandem rotors

The back wing of the Hummel has two functions; while on the ground, it's a foot, and during flight, it provides stabilization.

According to Kocyba, the tandem rotor layout guarantees a more efficient aircraft performance than the standard helicopter tail rotor design, without wasting fuel.

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3 of 5 Daniel Kocyba

Foldable helicoptor

From flying machine to its compact, closed box, the helicopter folds in three steps.
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4 of 5 Daniel Kocyba

Folded helicoptor

Folded, the Hummel can be easily stored without wasting space.
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5 of 5 Daniel Kocyba

Research expeditions

The Hummel's small size and the fold-ability make it an ideal tool for use on expeditions and research ships, Kocyba says.

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