Believe it or not, it’s become increasingly easier for people to fly. Sure, fuel prices have spiked here and there, but generally speaking the percentage of people who haven’t flown continues to decrease. Maybe you’re even one of the many who has taken a helicopter ride? Whether it was at a local fair, or somewhere a little more extravagant like the Grand Canyon or over Manhattan. Now, Boeing is looking to add a twist to flight with the development of an aircraft that’s a cross between a helicopter and an airplane.
According to Switched, this new hybrid aircraft is part airplane, part helicopter, and will be used as a search and rescue aircraft. As you can imagine, the aircraft is one of the most unique looking ones you’ll ever see, combining the long range flight patterns of a plane with the hovering capabilities of a helicopter.
[youtube width="324" height="244"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg6LuwyNIxk[/youtube]
It is by far one of the coolest aircraft we’ve seen, especially by Boeing. As Switched reports, it uses rotor-mounted blades so that it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter. It’s not until it’s up in the air that it becomes an awesome hybrid aircraft, when the blades retract, disappearing into the disc on top and turning into a fixed-wing craft. It sounds quite futuristic, but we like the idea if it gets off the ground.
[Photo courtesy of Paul is here]