Roads? Where DARPA's going they don't need … roads …

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DARPA had a hover-conversion done in the early 21st century.

This is, hands down, the best solicitation I’ve seen in a long time: The mad scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are moving forward with their plans to develop a flying car.

Seriously. This $55 million flying car will need to seat four troops and their gear, operate like a regular SUV on land, and be able to turn into a vertical-take-off-and-landing aircraft that can fly 250 miles, at up to 10,000 feet above sea level, on a single tank of fuel.

“This presents unprecedented capability to avoid traditional and asymmetrical threats while avoiding road obstructions,” DARPA said in its solicitation. The flying car — I can’t stress enough how awesome that is — would be used for military strikes, counterinsurgency operations, reconnaisance, medical evacuation and logistical supply operations.

DARPA calls the project “Transformer,” but I prefer to think of it as a real-life version of Doc Brown’s flying DeLorean from the end of Back to the Future. Now if only they can figure out an efficient way to generate 1.21 gigawatts.


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