AirMule - A Star Wars Landspeeder By Urban Aeronautics
The AirMule, under development by Urban Aeronautics, Ltd, is a single-engine, VTOL Cargo and MedEvac vehicle. The intent is to use the AirMule as a flying - possibly remote-controlled - ambulance and cargo-hauler.
(AirMule prototype by Urban Aeronautics)
Control of the vehicle is accomplished through a company developed, four channel, redundant flight control system that relies almost entirely on inertial measurements augmented by GPS for translational position and velocity readings. Height above ground is measured by two laser altimeters. 460 channels of telemetry provide real-time data to the ground based operators, enabling them to monitor the correct operation of the Turbomeca Arriel1 730 horsepower turbo-shaft engine as well as sub-systems. These include the three company developed gearboxes, the two main lift rotors with their hydraulic pitch change mechanism and three uplink and downlink communication channels.
Results from the tests have confirmed the company’s predictions regarding power required for hover. The present hover height of approximately 60 cm (2 feet) is just outside of ground effect for this particular configuration. Based on an initial assessment of the vehicle’s available control power under actual conditions it has been demonstrated that the AirMule’s vane control system which is used for roll and yaw control is already generating in excess of 2.0 Radians/sec^2 of roll acceleration. This figure is expected to double in the future with additional improvements that are presently being implemented. The significance of these results is the vehicle’s ability to perform hover with very high precision in gusty wind conditions (currently estimated and confirmed by the recent hover tests at 50 knots for the fully developed product).
Star Wars fans of course remember with fondness in their hearts the landspeeder used by Luke Skywalker to aimlessly tool around in the wastes of Tatooine. Take a look at a model reproduction of this classic sf vehicle parked, absurdly, in suburbia, followed by a quote from the novelization of the movie by George Lucas.
(Star Wars landspeeder parked in suburbia)
For a moment Luke hesitated at leaving the machine behind -- but, he argued to himself, it's vital components were obviously shot. So he jumped into the landspeeder, causing the recently repaired repulsion floater to list alarmingly to one side until he was able to equalize weight distribution by sliding behind the controls. Maintaining its altitude slightly above the sandy ground, the light-duty transport vehicle steadied itself like a boat in a heavy sea...
From Urban Aeronautics via
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/12/2010)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Ford's SafeCap, Opposite Of Niven and Barnes' Napcap
'In the napcap a client became an instant yoga master' - Niven and Barnes, 2000.
Tesla Roadster Plus SpaceX Thrusters Equals Rocket Car
'The car surged and lifted...' - Robert Heinlein, 1941.
Sono Sion Electric Car Charges As You Drive
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.' - Robert Heinlein, 1940.
Cruise Autonomous Car Drives Aimlessly For An Hour
Convincing video shows progress (and limitations).
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Personalized Masks Appear
'The tiger stripes on Jim's mask... made the young people easy to identify.'
Foiling Facial Recognition, Fighting Coaster Viruses, Harlan Ellison-Style
I have no mouth and I must scream.
Ford Uses Obedient Robot Dogs To Update Facilities Maps
'If he sent out two or three of the small tele-operated devices... [he] could see machinery and construction details in real time from both above and below.'
AirTouch Panels Means No More Dirty Touchscreens!
Useful interfaces now appear in thin air.
EllipticaRunner Robot Is Fast, Amazing, Slightly Worrisome
'THEY sent A SLAMHOUND on Turner's trail in New Delhi...'
SPECTER Electroshock Round Fireable From Shotgun
'...the balls sent by this gun are not ordinary balls, but little
cases of glass.'
100 Terabyte Exadrive SSD Also Has Biggest Price
'A man could carry AIs or complete planetary dataspheres in a Schrön loop.'
Mechanical Milking Of Microalgae For Fuel Production
'They call 'em culture tanks. They have bugs -- germs -- growing in them.'
Feel Virtual Reality In Mid-Air!
'...a pressure on the lips - warm and soft, moist and sweet.'
Electric Lasso Gives Police Options
'The blast of silver threads enveloped her...'
TytoCare Offers Futuristic Home Care
'Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling...'
Powdered Regolith Propulsion
'... filling their great tanks with the finely divided dust which the ionic rockets would spit out in electrified jets.'
Ford's SafeCap, Opposite Of Niven and Barnes' Napcap
'In the napcap a client became an instant yoga master...'
Would You Get 'Chipped'? Michigan May Ban Employers
'Employees above a certain level were implanted with advanced microprocessors...'
Tesla Autopilot: What Does An Autonomous Car See When It Looks At The Road?
'Jeremiah is a sports-model to begin with and that kind is awfully hot-tempered.'
DNA Controls Swarms Of Molecular Robots
'They exist in loose swarms...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories