The SUV that turns into a helicopter

Posted by Emma Woollacott

AVX Aircraft company has designed an SUV that can change into a helicopter in seconds, and has submitted the design to Darpa.

"The design is very adaptable, and can be configured for many different size and types of vehicles," says AVX  president and chief engineer Troy Gaffey.

"The efficiency of the AVX design provides flexibility and performance to support both ground and aerial movement required for the TX design."

The company says the vehicle can be manually driven on the ground like an SUV, but can be reconfigured as a helicopter by simply unfurling the rotor blades. The entire process takes only one minute.

It has automated takeoff and landing control, and AVX says that almost anybody could fly or drive it - without needing a pilot's licence.

On the road, it can drive at 80mph - 30mph on rough terrain - and it has a respectable 140mph flying speed.

The copter can carry four soldiers, and AVX says it can be quickly converted for use as a medical evacuation vehicle. It will have a 1,040lb payload, and can travel 250 nautical miles on a single tank of fuel.