funds numerous research projects and some of them sound like science
fiction more than a product that could see reality. One of the more
interesting projects that DARPA has talked about in the past year or
so is the Transformer flying car. The idea behind the Transformer is
that the soldiers could fly the vehicle over IEDs and rough terrain
to make insertions into combat zones.DARPA expects the flying
Humvee to be piloted by troops with about the same amount of
training that it takes to drive an armored vehicle. The basic premise
of the vehicle is to take a Humvee that is lightened for flight and
equip it with a rotor system to allow quick vertical takeoff and
reports that in the weeks to come, DARPA will turn the Transformer
idea over to several defense contractors for research.The
Transformer would have to be able to carry four combat ready soldiers
and over 1,000 pounds of gear into battle. The car is expected to
have a range of 250 miles when flying or driving on a single tank of
fuel. One interesting aspect of the vehicle is that it would have
automated flight capabilities as well. Using the automated flight
capability, the flying Humvee could be sent to remote field locations
with supplies offering the soldiers the gear and transportation they
need for an objective.The need to lighten the vehicle for
flight would mean less armor. DARPA states that the vehicle would be
able to stop most small arms fire and the reduction in armor would be
offset by the ability to fly over IEDs and bombs.Officials
with the U.S. Marine core state that they are more interested in how
the research into a flying Humvee might help unmanned helicopters
they are developing more than they are interested in the flying car.
James Lasswell, head of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab, said, "The
idea of having a flying car is interesting, but that is kind of a
gee-whiz kind of thing."
announced the Transformer program in January 2010.
quote: the U.S. Marine core
quote: You think that's offensive? Our own President doesn't even know how to pronounce it!