- Title: Autonomous aircraft that goes where no helicopter dares
- Date: 9th January 2017
- Summary: YAVNE, ISRAEL (RECENT) (REUTERS) WRITING ON PROTOTYPE READING: 'TACTICAL ROBOTICS' VARIOUS OF EMPLOYEES WORKING (SOUNDBITE) (English) RAFI YOELI, FOUNDER AND CEO OF URBAN AERONAUTICS, SAYING: "Just imagine a dirty bomb in a city and a chemical substance or something else and this vehicle can come in robotically, remotely piloted, come in to the street and decontaminate an area. We've been approached by operators of nuclear plants, can this aircraft go into a nuclear plant and actually make repairs and fix a leak and do some work and not just take a picture of what's happening inside, so this is a workhorse. This is a vehicle that is designed to go places and work and do work and therefore, the compact dimensions, the internal rotors and the very, very large payload capability are the fundamentals for the Cormorant design." ADDITIONAL PROTOTYPE OF CORMORANT BEING WHEELED OUT IN HANGER EMPLOYEE WORKING ON PROTOTYPE (SOUNDBITE) (English) RAFI YOELI, FOUNDER AND CEO OF URBAN AERONAUTICS, SAYING: "I'm not ruling out putting a pilot and passenger on this aircraft, it'll be another leap forward of course but yes this will be a personal vertical take-off car sized vehicle that would be as safe or safer than a helicopter and would really turn the page and start a new era of which I think we are the forerunners with the Cormorant towards that goal." VIEW OF PROTOTYPE CORMORANT, EMPLOYEES AT WORK JANINA FRANKEL-YOELI, VICE PRESIDENT MARKETING AT URBAN AERONAUTICS, SPEAKING TO EMPLOYEES REMOTE CONTROL BEING OPERATED PARTS OF PROTOTYPE CORMORANT MOVING FRANKEL-YOELI SPEAKING TO REPORTER (SOUNDBITE) (English) JANINA FRANKEL-YOELI, VICE PRESIDENT MARKETING AT URBAN AERONAUTICS SAYING: "I think it's a revolution in the field of aviation because it's a new class of aircraft, it's like you had fixed wing aircraft and you could fly long distances forward, you developed helicopters and you suddenly could move vertically - and up until now there's a whole area of airspace that even helicopters couldn't go because of this enormous rotor and the hazards of it and suddenly you have a family of aircraft based on this technology that can fly in places that nothing has ever been able to fly." EMPLOYEES AT WORK
- Embargoed: 24th January 2017 12:24
- Keywords: UAV Cormorant Israel drone flyingcar flying car Urban Aeronautics military
- Location: YAVNE AND UNDISCLOSED LOCATION, ISRAEL
- City: YAVNE AND UNDISCLOSED LOCATION, ISRAEL
- Country: Israel
- Topics: Science
- Reuters ID: LVA0045YCXHSL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: After 15 years of development, an Israeli tech firm are optimistic of finally get their one-and-a-half tonne people-carrying drone off the ground and into the market.
The Cormorant aircraft, billed as a flying car capable of transporting 500kg of weight and travelling at 115 mph, completed its first automated solo flight in November, taking off, flying and landing by itself.
Developers Urban Aeronautics believe the vehicle, which uses internal rotors to fly rather than helicopter propellers, will be sold to militaries to work in hostile environments from 2020 and cost $14 million.
"Just imagine a dirty bomb in a city and a chemical substance or something else and this vehicle can come in robotically, remotely piloted, come in to the street and decontaminate an area," Urban Aeronautics founder and CEO Rafi Yoeli told Reuters.
Yoeli set up the company, based in a large hanger in Yavne, central Israel, in 2001 to create the vehicle, which he says is safer than a helicopter as it can fly in between buildings and below power lines without the risk of blade strikes.
However, there is still plenty of work required before the 2020 launch to market.
The vehicle is yet to meet all Federal Aviation Administration standards and November's test also saw small issues with conflicting data sent by sensors but Yoeli said he was pleased the automation worked as required.
Janina Frankel-Yoeli, vice president marketing at Urban Aeronautics, said the Cormorant, named after an aquatic bird, marked a new phase in aviation.
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