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Puffin Personal Air Vehicle – Designed by NASA, Powered by Electricity

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Any resemblance between the machinery on the right and the puffin on the left? None? Well, there may be some resemblance, considering their sizes – almost anybody wouldn’t see them flying… but they do.

NASA has invented something that every human being who has ever wondered why we don’t have wings attached, and called it “The Puffin personal air vehicle“. It’s designed to fly one person by using two 60hp electric motors, which, if one should fail, wouldn’t take the Puffin to a crash, but support the vehicle in an emergency flight with only one of them.

The Puffin has been created by NASA aerospace engineer Mark Moore as the work for his doctoral degree, and has stirred a lot of interest inside and outside of NASA. It is only a project for the moment, but the National Institute of Aerospace is working on a remote-controlled, scaled-down prototype for testing the Puffin in real life conditions. If the testing succeeds, there may be a chance that we could go to work by flying over the countless cars on the roads, with a maximum speed of 150mph (240 km/h), for a distance of 50 miles (80 km).

The take-off and landing are done by expanding the Puffin’s four legs, and can be done vertically, in a very narrow space. The whole thing weighs only 300lbs (136kg). Added to that weight are 100lbs (45kg) of batteries and 200 lbs (91 kg) for the pilot (more or less). The distance is theoretically estimated by using today’s lightest and highest-performance batteries.

Environmentally-friendly, this Puffin-like vehicle should catch the attention of many manufacturers (if it hasn’t already).

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