"DARPA's 'Flying Humvee' Is Moving Ahead, Ready For Prototype"

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ohai's picture

DARPA says both AAI and Lockheed Martin have produced “feasible designs” for its Transformer (TX) program, known more casually as the “flying Humvee” initiative. Both designs have moved to Phase 2, which requires them to begin work on prototypes for evaluation at the end of fiscal 2012.”

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-10/darpas-flying-humvee-moving-prototype-phase

This is either the best idea that I’ve heard in a while or the worst idea. 

“Be aware of this 40 year old men in our country.They suffer from mid life crisis and are always trying to be in the good books of young girls.” -Rahul Roy

Reggie's picture

I didn’t really read the whole article but the flying humvee’s must be for military use only - as it would required sophisticated training to properly handle it (I assume). If this is the case, it seems like a good idea.

If the plan is to open this for use by the general public, then it is the worst idea ever.

Black Swan's picture

I think this is the biggest waste of military money, the vehicle is actually an enormous step back in terms of any practical application. Tax payers are actually paying money to develop a vehicle less effective than what we already have. This un-aerodynamic turd will be forced to be less armored and less durable as well as less off-roadable while still heavier to accommodate any form of flight capabilities. It would be too awkward for any form of urban, wooded or jungle encounter, with major blind spots and susceptibility to enemy fire that would simply render it unable to fly and leave you with a crappy awkward car to drive around a combat zone. How would this un-maneuverable, unarmored and offensively week (armament) vehicle in any way be superior to Ospreys, Sea Knights, Chinooks or Black Hawks dropping you near a zone with actual humvees as this is currently a replacement for neither aircraft nor effective ground transportation. This thing sucks. When I saw the image and expected capabilities I thought it was a joke. In any urban zone I’d much rather be in an ILAV than in that tin can and in open terrain, give me the humvee.

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ohai's picture

DARPA funds a lot of crazy stuff that will never see production. In my engineering department at University X, basically everything was funded by DARPA, even professors’ crazy projects with no practical applications. I am confident that this flying humvee will never make it to the field, but it’s one of those things that is fun to imagine due to the sheer insanity.

“Be aware of this 40 year old men in our country.They suffer from mid life crisis and are always trying to be in the good books of young girls.” -Rahul Roy

higgmond's picture

I would like to think that this program is not really about developing a flying Humvee. I hope they are really using it as cover to either develop some secret components within the test vehicles that have realistic alternate uses or using it to divert funds to some covert operations.

My job is to reconcile cognitive dissonance.

Palantir's picture

cover for stealth helicopter?

Cities teem with evil and decay, let’s give it a good shake and see what falls out!!

higgmond's picture

Palantir wrote:
cover for stealth helicopter?

They already have them. Used in the Bin Laden mission.

My job is to reconcile cognitive dissonance.

Black Swan's picture

Besides:
1) It’s such a crappy cover, I have a feeling the govt could do better
2) They don’t bother with “cover’s” on plane vanilla projects like that. I used to work for a global defense contractor (BAE Systems) that collaborated on the F35, as well as unmanned autonomous helicopters and tanks and MRAP / ILAV’s. Everyone knows when big projects like that are in the works, there’s no cover involved.

redacted

Palantir's picture

It’s not really obvious though whether that UBL chopper was a whole new design or a conventional chopper fitted with radar absorbing materials. Who knows though.

Cities teem with evil and decay, let’s give it a good shake and see what falls out!!

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