Did This Israeli Defense Company Just Build A Freaking Flying Car?

Ready or not, the weirdly futuristic AirMule has taken flight.
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Ready or not, the weirdly futuristic AirMule has taken flight.
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Israeli defense contractor Urban Aeronautics Ltd. has successfully tested its drone-like AirMule at the nation's Megiddo airfield—and it sure looks a hell of a lot like a flying car. 

Though this bizarre airborne machine is being developed to zooming into battlefield situations to retrieve troops, its spinning electric fan flight system seems like a strong candidate to finally deliver flying car capabilities to the masses. 

Indeed, Urban Aeronautics says it will offer a commercial version called the "Cormorant" eventually, but it's still figuring out how to carry cargo and fly beyond the AirMule operator's line of sight. 

The Israeli firm calls this category of vehicle "fancraft"and says the technology has the potential to fly as fast as 287 mph. Its six fans are strong enough to keep the AirMule stable even when blasted by 57 mph cross-winds.

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While previous flying car efforts have been basically airplanes that drive on the road, the AirMule is more akin to an electric drone that carries passengers like a taxi. The vehicle's wing-shaped fueselage generates lift at speed, relieving the need for fans to carry its weight by half, preserving battery life.

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Urban Aeronautics says it has already been granted 37 patents and has 12 more pending. Though troop-carrying and cargo delivery are among the tasks that will pay for the AirMule's development, it can't be long before Cormorant variants are adapted to ferrying passengers high above city streets, right?

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