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XPONENTIAL Innovation Preview -- www.allthingsunmanned.com

Tue, Nov 13, 2012

Japanese Company Developing Personal Electric Helicopter

UAV And One-Seat Models May Be Flying By 2021

Japanese RC helicopter manufacturer Hirobo made a splash at the International Aerospace Exhibition in Nagoya, Japan last week with the unveiling of a "personal" electric helicopter capable of reaching speeds of up to 62 miles per hour.

A story appearing online on RocketNews 24 shows the aircraft, looking very much like a giant RC helicopter on display at the show. Company president Kotaro Matsuzaka said that the aircraft is intended for use during emergencies and disasters. He said that he expects the development program to cost some $125 million. The aircraft should fly for about 30 minutes on a single battery charge, according to Matsuzaka. Its quiet electric motor would make it easier for pilots to hear injured or trapped people calling for help, he said.

Matsuzaka said that the issues standing in the way of the aircraft are more legal than technical. However, he did say that a two-place version of the aircraft is also on the drawing boards.

Still, it may be a long time before the average commuter can get his or her hands on such a flying machine ... if ever. But pretty much any pilot who sees one is bound to have an "I have to have one" reaction.

(YouTube image from Japanese Television)

FMI:  http://model.hirobo.co.jp/english/ 

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