NASA's Puffin: Your Personal Aircraft?

NASA's Puffin: Your Personal Aircraft?



this personal flying machine doesn't actually exist yet but its design shows how electric propulsion could offer a wider range of possibilities than turbines and other traditional engines it's called the puffin and it was developed by NASA with engineers from MIT Georgia Tech MDOT aerospace and the National Institute of aerospace the aircraft lands and takes off like a helicopter with a tail section that splits open to reveal the landing gear once in the air it leans forward and flies like an airplane at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour it does this thanks to a redundant set of electric motors that are designed to fail and still produce enough power to hover meaning you don't have to worry about stalled puffins falling out of the sky the electric motors are quieter cleaner and lighter than traditional engines the whole aircraft weighs just 400 pounds but with a battery life of 50 miles it's not meant for long hauls still flying over that rush-hour gridlock would be very nice but what about that name the puffins why not something like the Helicon eggl chopper plane in a press release aerospace engineer and puffin conceptual designer mark moore said quote if you've ever seen a puffin on the ground it looks very awkward with wings too small to fly and that's exactly what our vehicle looks like but it's also apparently called the most environmentally friendly bird because it hides its poop so the vehicle is environmentally friendly because it essentially has no emissions also puffins tend to live in solitude only ever coming together on land to mate and ours is a one-person vehicle a scaled-down remote-controlled model of the aircraft is under construction by one of NASA's research partners with hover tests scheduled for March and flight transition tests after that for Discovery News I'm Jorge Rivas

37 thoughts on “NASA's Puffin: Your Personal Aircraft?

  1. Possibly Knight Six… Maybe designated flight paths (over less populated terrain) guided by GPS and accident avoidance systems (these machines will talk to each other) might ease some of your concerns. 😉

  2. A very old idea with yet another coat of new paint. This does not exist and will never see the light of day. The idea that tens of thousands of motorists will take to the skys going anywhere they want is the reason the Federal Aviation Administration was created…to say "no, you won't." Argue with them, not me. The so-called 'flying car' that just came out has already been saddled with every federal regulation there is and is restricted to airports only. Wait until this is built, then comment.

  3. Afraid to fly? Do you drive the car? Fly is not much more difficult! And the other thing that is helping us in that – It's progress, Sir!
    Hope you do not wash your clothes with your hand.

  4. I think it would be more than possible to build a system with enough redundancy that the chances of it falling out of the sky are very small, and with enough computer and gps systems also made highly redundent of course, we could have them pilot themselves. i think it could work

  5. You and I do not know each other, and you call be an "Idiot" for offering an opinion about such foolish ideas? I hold single and multi-engine high-performance airplane ratings, as well as helicopter (30 years Army). Big rigs and motorcycles don't come crashing down on your house when the engine fails or some screwball messes up. No one needs any type of license to fly an "experimental" aircraft.

  6. there are less airspace accidents than car accidents you idiot, these would be like Motorcycles and Big Rigs, needing a special license to fly them. Motorcycles are dangerous too but there is a proportionate amount of them out there.

  7. It's the foolhardy and the ignorant that are truly dangerous.

    Take a look around the grocery store the next time you go and tell me how many of those fine folks you would let fly your plane.

  8. They realize that flying requires a lot more intelligence and focus than driving because it is 99.99% unforgiving of error. And they know the majority of people won't bother themselves to learn what they need to know and will quickly die.

    Maybe this kind of Darwinism is exactly what modern society needs.

  9. More money could go toward R&D of new/improved tech if America would wake up to the reality of our out of control nation. We're in unbelievable debt and we continue to allow the Federal Reserve to loan out money (16 Trillion dollars is a known figure) and place that burden back onto the American taxpayer. We don't even have a balanced budget. We could cut defense spending in half, bring our troops home, close foreign bases and still have the greatest military in the world. Gary Johson 2012

  10. National resources? NASA gets 0.5% of the national budget. A whopping $20B a year, soon to be about 17.3B after more cuts.

    Most of their budget goes into finding out new technologies that could make common things more efficient, stronger, lighter. That and space realted issues such as maintaining satellites.

    Also you don't know much about why cars are made out of certain metals. It has to do with how much energy the material absorbs and dissipates. Also aluminium does not crumple well.

  11. use hemp plastic, carbon fibers, and carbon nano tubes, maybe even hydrogen diamond, (Yes hydrogen diamond is able to be made) then the cars bomb proof, runs for pretty much ever, and is the lightest wheight it can be

  12. >:O

    I'll be researching this a little more. But regardless of what happens with the Puffin concept, I'll be flying the Piper Warrior aircraft for the next few months while I work up to my Private Pilot's License. Flying isn't that hard, trust me. It's the cynicists and pessimists that are really dangerous.

  13. I think the negative opinion in the comment section of this aircraft concept is discouraging.

    It seems like people are just trying to find a way to prove that this will never work while at the same time vilifying NASA for "wasting" their budget on trying to find a cheap way for anyone to fly.

    What kind of demented, cynical bastards are you?

    NASA budget: 17-19 billion per year.

    Military expendatures: 600+ billion per year.

  14. NASA to humanity: "Please enjoy your new flying coffins
    (ahem, please don't cut our funding… please… we have ideas n stuff)"

  15. @zenoparodie I'm right there with you man. One of the reasons I want to vote for Ron Paul is because of all the true budget cuts he plans to implement with 1 Trillion dollars being cut the first year and bringing all of the troops home from around the world as well.

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