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B Quadcopter concept offers a new take on the flying car

We’re a bit behind schedule with flying cars, but every now and then something comes along that keeps the dream alive. That something is the ‘B’ quadcopter concept, an off-road remote controlled car-cum-plane that could one day be scaled up for use by full-size human beings.

Could this be the future of flying cars?
Could this be the future of flying cars?

The concept features four 220mm diameter wheels that allow it to roll along like a normal car ─ nothing special there – but also four propellers built into those wheels, which can provide lift when the terrain becomes impassable.

The propellors allow the B to take off and land vertically without the need for a lengthy runway, bypassing pesky speed cameras, drunk drivers making love to their partners at the wheel and roadworks.

The B can seamlessly switch between driving and flying so there’s almost no waiting around – except for the time it takes to charge its onboard battery, which draws some energy from onboard solar panels fitted to the lightweight polycarbonate body. Currently, the B has a 15-minute flight time, so a production version would need far bigger (or better batteries) to make it useful for anything other than mucking about in.

The B quadcopter is merely in the concept stages so you can’t yet buy one. Its designers have plenty of hurdles to overcome, not least figuring out how to prevent its propellers turning pedestrians into doggy chunks.

But its creator Witold Mielniczek, a Computational Engineering and Design PhD student at the University of Southampton, is hoping to raise funding for its development via the Kickstarter service. He hopes the project will someday turn it into a commercial reality, bringing the possibility of flying cars one step closer.
At the time of writing, the B’s Kickstarter fund has reached £48,324 of its £86,500 goal. Head on over to contribute.

Source and images: MSN Cars 

The B is currently in the prototype stage.
The B is currently in the prototype stage.
A full-size version is planned.
A full-size version is planned.

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