Can Israel’s ‘Passenger Drone’ Get Off Ground?
After 15 years of development, an Israeli tech firm is optimistic it will finally get its passenger-carrying drone off the ground and into the market by 2020.
The Cormorant, billed as a flying car, is capable of transporting 1,000 pounds of weight and traveling at 115 miles per hour. It completed its first automated solo flight over terrain in November. Its total price is estimated at $14 million.
Developers Urban Aeronautics believe the dark green drone, which uses internal rotors rather than helicopter propellers, could evacuate people from hostile environments and/or allow military forces safe access.
“Just imagine a dirty bomb in a city and chemical substance of something else and this vehicle can come in robotically, remotely piloted, come into a street and decontaminate an area,” Urban Aeronautics founder and CEO Rafi Yoeli told Reuters.
The Cormorant, about the size of a family car and previously called the ‘Air Mule’, is yet to meet all Federal Aviation Administration standards. But Yoeli says it is safer than a helicopter as it can fly in between buildings and below power lines without the risk of blade strikes.—Reuters