I Want a Puffin!

Check out the new NASA personal aircraft concept.

“Don’t let the cuddly name fool you; as far as specs are concerned the Puffin is no slouch. Its 12-feet height and 13.5-feet wingspan mean it’s big, but of manageable stature. In theory it can cruise at 150 miles per hour and sprint at more like 300 miles per hour. Since the craft is electrically propelled it doesn’t need air intake, so thinning air is not a limitation, meaning it can reach — again, in theory — 30,000 feet before limitations on battery power force it to descend (clearly the pilot would need a pressurized cabin or oxygen tanks at that altitude, but we’re just talking raw physical capability here).
The Puffin’s range would be the most limiting characteristic, at just 50 miles, but that’s simply a matter of battery density. Batteries are growing more dense by the day, so in coming years that range could be drastically improved.”

No, I didn’t mean this puffin.

But there is a family resemblance, no?

H/T Glenn Reynolds

17 Responses to “I Want a Puffin!”

  1. bushrat Says:

    Never let time pass you by.
    I was kid when I learnt about VTAL. . Then some fellow invented the Harrier jump jet.
    From Orgill to “Wright way up”, and loop the loop in,, A HELICOPTER>>>>>>>>>> .
    Sheesh. brave men died to fly. I wish them a good time where ever men like that go.

    BTW. that goes for the battle of Britians boys, with steel hearts,nothing?? Simply justice for those that wished to live in peace. Honest men.
    Fghting againt the Foe.Rip.
    My thought only. Cheers.

  2. Carpe Jugulum Says:

    That is a pretty interesting aircraft & looks like a lot of fun to fly.


    What do you do if you need to go for a leak?

  3. bingbing Says:

    That’s really cool. But you’d need anti-crash devices based on a pretty hardcore algorithm (the one how massive crowds of people going in all directions don’t bump into each other). Not that that algorithm would be needed with only a few rich bastards flying it, but it would be necessary if/when it replaces the car… which would mean they probably couldn’t be self-piloted, but rather one would have to punch in the destination to the GPS. Either that, or you’d need virtual roads in the sky… or both.

    Self-piloting would be really cool, though, but I doubt that option would be feasible in the major metropolises.

  4. bushrat Says:

    Well. Bingbing . My old man was born in the year of,,,, ahem. Before we all these trappings of life as we know it.. I guess we are all in the same boat/ cockpit.. so to speak.. ahrr yes .I forgot.
    behind the same saddle.

  5. Angus Dei Says:

    I don’t see ANY personal flying craft as feasible for flying around within towns, but they would be great for flying between towns, or just recreation. There’s no reason they couldn’t work like private aircraft do right now: You file a flight plan (ENTER DESTINATION), and the controllers (computers) give you a flight path. I imagine most of it would be computer controlled, but you would HAVE to have manual control in case of unforeseen events arising.

  6. Nemesis12 Says:

    I want one….:(

    • Angus Dei Says:

      Yeah John, first thing I though of was some of those old VTOL X-planes from early test flight programs. My late step dad was a test pilot for the USAF after WW II and flew a lot of very strange – and dangerous – aircraft like that.

  7. J.M. Heinrichs Says:

    What isn’t discernible from the vid is that the power bill for VTOL/hovering is 3 – 5 times that of normal flight. The choice of battery will have some importance.


  8. paul Says:

    I’d prefer a bell jet ranger anyday.

  9. Brittany Says:

    At first I thought that this website was about puffins, so I was really surprised when it said that they were 12 feet tall. Guess not.

    • spot_the_dog Says:

      Yeah, no.

      5,270 people in the past few months have landed on this page after doing a google search for “puffins”.

      Perhaps we should subtitle this post, “These Are Not The Puffins You Were Looking For”?

  10. Bjorn Jonasson Says:

    Can you tell me where you got this picture please?

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