And the first electric-plane jetpack takes off

Could it be that “mapping the world with an aircraft” is back in fashion? First jetpacks — now electric planes. Flying-car company V-Bird recently completed its first flight, using a hyper-electric, single-seat plane that…

And the first electric-plane jetpack takes off

Could it be that “mapping the world with an aircraft” is back in fashion? First jetpacks — now electric planes.

Flying-car company V-Bird recently completed its first flight, using a hyper-electric, single-seat plane that operated out of an out-of-the-way New Zealand airport on Monday. The small aircraft — dubbed the “Paperwing” — was made of lightweight aluminum, and propelled by three propellers that revolve around an electric motor inside the back of the craft. It’s designed to take off and land vertically, performing stunts much like a helicopter in order to help it bypass tall buildings.

A photo posted by V-Bird (@v_bird) on Jul 9, 2017 at 8:55pm PDT

For commuters, the vehicle is a potential alternative to cars and trains, since the air craft is heavier and takes longer to charge than a gas-powered car. But V-Bird’s conversion of an electric vehicle that’s supposed to take 50 hours to charge — the batteries are only capable of powering the craft for 25 to 30 minutes — may make it tough to compete with gas-powered aircraft such as planes, which use hundreds of batteries for the same amount of range. The company had an answer for this, however: They claim to have made a kit for anyone to build their own electric plane.

A video of the Paperwing’s maiden flight is below.

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