Cormorant 'flying car' (Courtesy/Tactical Robotics LTD) Tactical Robotics LTD

Israel’s ‘flying car’ is set to save lives through its unique technology that allows it to fly and land in places unreachable by helicopter.

By United with Israel Staff

The Israeli company Tactical Robotics is partnering with US aerospace giant Boeing to develop “flying cars” using “ducted fan propulsion” technology, called “fancraft,” for piloted and autonomous vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) air-crafts.

The Israeli company has already developed an unmanned vehicle, called the Cormorant, that is powered by internal lift rotors that allow takeoff and landing in small areas, which could revolutionize the way militaries deploy and rescue troops.

“Cormorant represents the first in a family of vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that can fly and land where no other aircraft can,” Rafi Yoeli, CEO of Urban Aeronautics, the parent company of Tactical Robotics, said in a statement. “We can think of no better partner than Boeing to help us develop this product and utilize the Fancraft technology to its full potential.”

Cormorant is about the size of a large delivery van. It can vertically hover, take-off and land, making it capable of autonomously flying and operating inside complex urban and natural environments, like mountains and forests, as well as in harsh weather and winds of up to 40 knots. Its design helps protect personnel from exposure to hazardous environments. It is also able to evacuate casualties.

Because Cormorant can operate in challenging situations, such as earthquakes and floods, it can quickly deliver water, food and medical supplies to isolated areas, saving lives.

“A single Cormorant is capable of ferrying in excess of 500 kilograms of useful cargo per each 50 kilometer radius sortie, thereby delivering approximately 6,000 kilograms over 24 hours; enough to supply up to 3000 people with food, water and other needed supplies,” the company’s website explains.

Fancraft technology improves stability, payload, speed and endurance when compared to conventional ducted fan configurations, according to the company.

Helicopters are unable to operate in the type of challenging environments in which the Cormorant can maneuver. While a helicopter is a good vehicle for evacuations, it requires an area clear of trees or electricity columns to land. The Cormorant can land in narrow streets and alleyways as well as other confined spaces.