VertiPod From Air Buoyant: Segway Of The Sky

The VertiPod from Air Buoyant is essentially a one-person helicopter - turned upside down. The pilot stands above the propeller, braced against a back support. Steering is simple - just start leaning in the direction you want to go.


(VertiPod)

More than a mere ground-effect vehicle, like a hovercraft, the VertiPod can fly up to fifteen feet above the ground at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. The thrust comes from a 440-cubic-centimeter engine that runs on gasoline or ethanol and can be activated with a pull-start, like a lawnmower.


(VertiPod alternate view)

SF fans may see in this device the copter harness, a kind of personal helicopter from a still-readable 1954 novel The Star Beast. In the story, Robert Heinlein describes a unique mode of personal transportation:

"They were half way home when a single flyer, hopping free in a copter harness, approached the little parade... John Thomas thought that he recognized that he recognized Betty's slapdash style even before he could make out features."
(Read more about the copter harness.)

Readers might also think of the two-man hover pods from the 1960's cartoon Jonny Quest.

Interested in similar devices?

  - AirScooter II Ultralight
  - Springtail EFV-4B Personal Air Vehicle From Trek Aerospace
  - First Jetpowered Flying Man
Read more about it at Wired and at the Air Buoyant VertiPod website.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/11/2007)

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