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article imageIsrael's 'flying car' could be available for delivery by 2020

By Karen Graham     Jan 3, 2017 in Technology
Yavne - An Israeli tech firm is optimistic that after 15 years of development, its 1,500 kilograms (1.5 tons) passenger carrying drone, dubbed the "Cormorant" will be ready to be marketed in 2020.
The Cormorant, formerly called the "Air Mule," is an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) or flying car that's about the size of a passenger car. Capable of carrying 500 kilograms (1000 pounds) and traveling at speeds of 185 km (115 miles) per hour, the Cormorant was developed by Yavne, Israel-based Urban Aeronautics.
Urban Aero has developed advanced aeronautics technologies that are at the center of their new family of internal rotor (ducted fan) aircraft. The Cormorant is an advanced and patented VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) UAV with internal lift rotors that enable it to fly inside wooded, urban or mountainous terrain where helicopters are unable to operate.
Urban Aero CEO Rafi Yoeli told Reuters the dark green drone could be used to evacuate people from hostile environments and could be used to allow safe access for military personnel in hostile terrain.
"Just imagine a dirty bomb in a city and chemical substance of something else and this vehicle can come in robotically, remotely piloted, come into a street and decontaminate an area," said Yoeli.
There are a few things yet to be done on the Cormorant before it hits the market, though. For one thing, it will have to meet all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements. Additionally, a test flight in November 2016 revealed some small issues with conflicting data sent back from the onboard sensors, reports the Daily Mail.
The Cormorant has 39 patents that went into creating the vehicle, and Yoeli says he doesn't worry about competitors usurping his design. And perhaps more important, one industry expert says the technology could save lives.
"It could revolutionize several aspects of warfare, including the medical evacuation of soldiers on the battlefield," said Tal Inbar, head of the UAV research center at Israel's Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies.
More about Flying car, Urban Aeronautics, cormorant, unmanned air vehicle, family carsized
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