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Coming soon ...? The Puffin!

Posted By:
Hal Bryan
827
Posts
501
#1 Posted: 1/20/2010 10:48:52

Make me a two-seater, and I'll take it:

Full article here: http://gizmodo.com/5452679/nasas-puffin-is-a-stealthy-personal-tilt+rotor-aircraft


 

 

 

 



Online Community Manager - EAA
John McGinnis
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
201
Posts
109
#2 Posted: 1/23/2010 01:00:10

I've got to say something here about the probable impact of a generational change as it relates to wild new flying machines.

Like many of us, I'm not sold yet. Unless the inventor is the driving force to fly this baby, it'll most likely turn into an overweight underwhelming entry in the 'didn't work' column. Most of us know the real issues are regulatory. And yet as a concept it certainly will work, just as soon as we turn it over to the kids.

This contraption fits in a category of underexplored flight technologies that will probably explode in diversity and number in the years ahead. Wearable flight craft and personal flying equipment speak to the X-Games generation in a powerful way, and they will do to the hardware exactly as they've done to motorcycles, bicycles, snowmobiles, watercraft, and skiing. Already there seem to be logical design groupings describing the exciting hardware and sports soon to be invented. Aviation as we know it will be reinvented and reinvigorated by these market forces, with or without us.

The Puffin (which is easily made practical if you've been paying attention to the radical breakthroughs in cheap self-stabilization and motion control created for autonomous and augmented systems) joins the Martin fanpack and similar designs in the VTOL corner.

 


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Gravity-launched equipment includes wingsuits, wing packs, wing sleds, and high speed hang gliders.


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Deployment/flight video 

 


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Then there are what can only be called micro-planes. Ultralights by definition, but not by speed limit. They'll make this BD-5J look big. Maybe even slow.

 
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This should remind us that our coolest looking aircraft looked just as cool when they were hatched... in the 1970s.

In the 1970s, Evel Knievel was jumping Harleys.


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Bicycles had ten speeds and skinny tires.


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As if to say, thanks, Pops, we'll take it from here, Generation X took Ralph Nader's hyper-protectionism as a call to arms to do the improbable. Then the impossible.




The classic aviation mindset is one of regulatory paralysis, where we no longer feel free to make and sell things that are patently dangerous toys. Rest assured that the driving forces behind this particular possibility do not share that perspective nor do they care about how things will sort themselves out after going out and doing whatever it is they want to do.

They'll break all the rules, and the rules will adapt. For our activity in particular, this will turn out to be a good thing. If we survive the action as spectators.



Joe LaMantia
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
175
Posts
69
#3 Posted: 1/23/2010 08:46:00

THANK YOU JOHN!

A very insightful and intelligent prospective on the innovative nature of aviation and the people involved in the development world.  We tend to spend too much time looking at why something can't be done, rather then just doing it!  Your comments inspire optimism,  a commodity that seems in short supply in America this past year.


Joe



   




John McGinnis
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
201
Posts
109
#4 Posted: 5/3/2010 18:14:54

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Mark Moore, the driver of the Puffin concept at NASA, at the recent EAS IV conference. Mark's presentation and several others on related work show that artificially stabilized transitional flight from vertical takeoff to vertical landing has convincingly arrived. Great work, Mark.



David Deweese
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
61
Posts
21
#5 Posted: 5/3/2010 18:59:31

Anyone remember a 1950's-era book, 'SkyJets for Flyers of Tomorrow', featuring a Dick and Jane pair of kids who receive sleek, winged, jet packs for their birthday? I sure do: had it as a boy, read it over and over, and was ticked off every time I got to the last page where they realized it had all been a dream. If I can afford a Puffin when they go on the market, it won't matter if I'm eighty-plus and hobbling on a cane, I'll buy one.



Peter DeSweed
2
Posts
1
#6 Posted: 5/3/2010 20:51:40

 

Photo

 



David Deweese
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
61
Posts
21
#7 Posted: 5/4/2010 12:47:59

That's the one, Peter. A copy sits above my desk at work for needed inspiration.