Meet the Drone That Can Carry a Passenger

Meet the Drone That Can Carry a Passenger


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A Philippine inventor flew and hovered for some 10 minutes in a single-passenger contraption powered by the “multicopter” technology commonly used in small unmanned drones. Former dancer and camera operator Kyxz Mendiola has unveiled what he calls a flying sports car that represents the future of transport.

Mendiola’s vehicle, which he calls “Koncepto Milenya”, can fly as high as 6.1 m (20 ft) and speed up to 60 kph (37 mph). According to international news agencies, the machine, which can carry up to 100 kg (220 lbs), could shave hours off trips in cities like the capital, Manila, crippled by chronic traffic problem.

The inventor said the single-seater aircraft is powered by six lithium-ion batteries and it is steered by the passenger using a portable radio frequency controller. “When we have to go somewhere about an hour’s drive, this can take you there in five minutes,” he said.

An added safety feature is that the craft’s 16 rotary motors allow it to keep flying, even if one or two fail, he added.

An Australian company, Star8, is partnering with Mendiola to develop the vehicle after a video featuring it went viral on social media. Star8’s Chief Executive Jacob Maimon said he wanted to mass produce it and market it in Australia, Europe and Hong Kong, after helping Mendiola perfect the machine.