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 -
Cattle Avoidance Feature In Indian Autonomous Cars
'The driver went about the business of gently slipping the teflon-coated metal scoop beneath the first animal...' - Allan Dean Foster, 2006.
Tesla Autopilot's 40 Percent Crash Reduction
''I hope all those other cars are on automatic,' he said anxiously.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1976
Cormorant Flying Car
'The cab came floating down out of the sky...' - James Blish, 1957.
Star Wars Speeder Bikes! On Water, By Jetovator
'Hey, wait!' Now, you don't need to say that.
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.
TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...'
Autonomous Robots Navigate Like Rats
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'
SINTEF Robot Cleans Solar Panels
'The window cleaners, with large padded feet...'
Pangorin Restaurant Service Robots
What'll you have? Jawa juice?
Drug Creates Real Melanin Tan
I've used them all my life...
Medical Drones Hover Like Angels Near You
'The death-reversal equipment is on its way...'
SkEye Amazing Israeli Gigapixel Drone
'An eye that could not only see, but fly...'
How Rude! DARPA Wants Robots To Behave More Like Threepio
'Do I know protocol? Why, it's my primary function.'
'Liquid Light' Flows Around Corners
Light as a superfluid.
Unrolling The Filmy Materials Of Space Tech
'When unfolded and unrolled... it became a tough, gleaming film.'
Buddy Companion Robot Your Bulbous Friend
'Nanny was built in the shape of a sphere, a large metal sphere, flattened on the bottom...'
Poli-X1 Prototype Bee Pollinator
Is there anything drones can't do?
Bake in Space Bake-Off... In Space!
'A joyous condition commenced for the cook in the electric kitchen...'
DeepMind AI Baffled By Homer Simpson, Needs Human Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off...'
Does Earth's Middle Mantle Hold Oceans Of Water?
Al Gore, you have no idea.
Vaccine Blocks Heroin High
'You're biochemically incapable of getting off...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories