A Flying Truck: Meet Black Knight Transformer
Fancy a flying truck in your dream? you probably will tonight. Here’s a preview of ‘Advanced Tactics – Black Knight Transformer’, a military purpose flying truck project with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities, tested successfully.
Though its called ‘Transformer’, don’t imagine it to sprout out wings and fly swiftly as enemies fire at it. It functions as a helicopter with road running facility or an off-road truck with flying capability. Further, it can be controlled remotely to keep pilots out of harm’s way.
Advanced Tactics initiated the AT Black Knight Transformer project in 2010 with backing from the United States Congress. Since then, continual developments were made and finally performed successful test flight at a private location in Southern California. Remotely piloted, the transformer completed multiple short hover flights limited to just 10 feet above ground, for safety concerns. As a precautionary measure to prevent roll over and catastrophic damage to the vehicle in case of any setback, outrigger landing gear was installed during tests and monitored via quadcopter drone carrying camera.
“The development of the AT Transformer concept was spurred by several things: the growing popularity and acceptance of “multicopter” aircraft, the military’s need for a low-cost platform for casualty evacuation and cargo resupply missions, and our passion for developing game-changing military and civilian vehicle technology.”
Black Knight Transformer is modular, versatile, scalable and can be reconfigured (does sound like a transformer right?). In addition, the modular ground vehicle portion can be cut-off for increased payload capacity, or can be replaced with a boat hull or an amphibious hull for operations on water. It can do 112 kmph on road and fly as high as 10,000 feet, with maximum take-off weight (payload) of 2000 kg.