Engineers in the U.S. are developing a new concept vehicle that can take off like a helicopter, fly like an airplane, and drive like a car. Sharon Reich reports.
STORY: Now this is a crossover vehicle. The SkyCruiser concept plane is an electric hybrid aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter, flies like an airplane and then upon landing, converts into a road vehicle. Created by Arizona-based company Krossblade Aerospace Systems, the SkyCruiser is designed to have the best of all the technologies. Like a helicopter, SkyCruiser has a switchblade rotor system that enables it to vertically take off and land in small areas -- eliminating the need for a runway. It uses a 320hp electric motor, which helps it take off quietly. Once the aircraft reaches flying altitude, the rotors disengage and fold back in. That's when the SkyCruiser shifts into airplane mode. The rear-mounted propellors fly the aircraft to its destination. It can hit speeds of up to 313 miles per hour - making it much faster and more fuel efficient than a helicopter. To boot, it can fly distances of about 1,000 miles, carrying cargo. And for the sci-fi like transformation, after landing, the five-seater plane turns into a road vehicle. The concept doesn't have a delivery date yet, but it does look like flying the friendly skies, may get a whole lot easier.