DARPA's Flying Humvee gets greenlit for prototype phase

Those crazy folks at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) always come up with the coolest military tech concepts, but a lot of them don't get past the drawing board. Now one of their wildest ideas is getting the green light, and will be turned into working prototypes by two competing manufacturers.

The Flying Humvee is exactly what its nickname sounds like, a military road vehicle that can take off and fly like a plane. We saw DARPA's original design study last year, but now there are two contractors lined up that say they can build it.

AAI's design looks a lot like DARPA's original drawing, with folding wings and a foldaway helicopter rotor that spread out when you want to change over to flying mode. Lockheed-Martin on the other hand has come up with something that looks like a mini version of Boeing's V22 Osprey, with twin rotors that tilt forward once you are airborne.

Both companies are now asked to make working prototypes, which are scheduled to be ready to fly by the end of 2012. So don't freak out if you see what looks like a Hummer flying through the air sometime next year.

Aviation Week, via PopSci

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