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10 Weird And Wonderful Flying Machines [Feature]


Chances are, you recently saw a video of a man who appeared to fly using a contraption that allowed to him to flap his wings like a bird. That video turned out to be a hoax, but there are definitely some real flying machines out there that are just as crazy.

Giant paper airplane

Tucson’s Pima Air and Space Museum created this massive Arturo Desert paper airplane, which weighs 800 pounds and has a wingspan of 24 ft. Recently, the plane was hauled by a helicopter to an altitude of about 4,000 feet before being released – resulting in a six second flight which reached speeds of 98 mph. No word yet on whether or not the military plans to weaponize it as a means of inflicting catastrophic papercuts on enemy forces. Cubiclebot

Back to the Future flying DeLorean

YouTuber native118 created this awesome custom-built flying quadrocopter modeled after Doc Brown’s DeLorean from Back to the Future. Besides sporting LED lighting effects and intricate detail right down to a tiny Mr. Fusion, the model features stabilization control powered by MultiWii, a HobbyKing 12A BlueSeries speed controller, and Turnigy 2204-14T motors. Unfortunately, this isn’t a commercial product, so you won’t be able to send your action figures back in time on a mission to tell your mom not to throw away all of your original Star Wars toys. Nerd Approved

Hoverbike

Australian Chris Malloy has made himself an actual hoverbike that he claims can achieve speeds of 173 mph and altitudes in excess of 10,000 feet. Of course, the prototype falls a bit short of that mark having only gone so far as to hover 3 feet while tethered to the ground. So don’t expect to be blazing through the forests of Endor anytime soon – or, as Malloy suggests, using it for “aerial cattle mustering”. Still, I have confidence that flying cowboys will one day roam the plains. Hoverbike via Nerd Approved

Tacocopter

The company behind the Tacocopter has a simple dream – to allow customers to order tacos via their smart phone, and have said tacos delivered via an unmanned drone helicopter. But before you get excited about the prospect of flying tacos delivered straight to your door, the plan has a few major obstacles to overcome. For one thing, the government does not currently allow UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to be used for commercial purposes. In addition, there would be a number of logistical hurdles, including avoiding birds, balconies, telephone wires, delivering food to people indoors, delivering food to the right person, and protecting the Tacocopters from being stolen by animals and hungry, impoverished college students. Tacocopter via That’s Nerdalicious

Remote-controlled flying shark

Needless to say, the lifeguards at your beach are completely unprepared to handle a predator of this magnitude. The flying shark is the deadliest creature on land and sea and air. And you can purchase one to do your evil bidding for only $99. Nitroplanes

e-volo multicopter

It looks like something straight out of the margins of one of da Vinci’s notebooks, but this German designed e-volo multicopter is touted as the possible future of flight  – a device that can be piloted “as simple as a car”.  The aircraft is equipped with sixteen tiny propellers driven by independent electric motors, and the lithium batteries would allow for 10 to 30 minutes of flight depending on payload and battery capacity – expending roughly $10 worth of electricity in the process. It’s also purported to be fairly safe, and can land even if four of its motors fail. There’s also an option of installing a safety parachute. e-volo via Nerd Approved

Breakthrough Quadrocopter

Mark Cutler and Jonathan P. Howe have developed the first quadrotor drone with variable-pitch propellers, making it possible to do all kinds of aggressive acrobatics. Full-size helicopters have this capability too, but are not able to match this kind of precise performance. That is, unless you have a pilot with a ridiculous amount of skill. The real action in the video begins at around 1:20.  Hack A Day

Flyboard jetpack

We seen all kinds of jetpacks in the past, but not one that essentially turns you into human dolphin. On this jetpack, the engines are attached to your feet with a steering mechanism on your hands Iron Man style – making it possible to perform crazy maneuvers like diving in and out of the water. But the best news is that you won’t need Tony Stark money to enjoy it as the basic Flyboard will set you back around $6600. Zapata Racing

RC superheroes

In order to promote the superhero flick “Chronicle”, 20th Century Fox teamed up with viral advertising firm Thinkmodo earlier this year to launch three human-shaped RC aircraft (to reference the three main characters of the story) into the skies in an attempt to troll NYC. In the end though, witnesses to the event probably thought immediately about the Superman reboot (or preparing for an alien invasion). Still, it’s a clever idea. Nerd Approved

Terrafugia Flying Car

In the never ending quest to develop a flying car, we have resorted to folding up an airplane until it becomes street legal. Still, the Terrafugia Transition has been approved by the FAA (with a special exemption) and pre-orders are currently being accepted. In order to pilot one, you’ll need $279,000, and 20 hours of flying time to get your light sport aircraft license. It also has no airbags, crumple zones or roll cage – no safety features in general. What could go wrong? Terrafugia via CubicleBot 

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