Italian vehicle manufacturer Jet Capsule has unveiled a “flying saucer” prototype hovercraft that is fan-powered, seats two and has a maximum speed of 120 miles per hour.
The drone is called the IFO, the Identified Flying Object. Passengers sit in a central capsule, which contains the controls. The capsule is encircled by a carbon fiber disc with eight fan blades that give the craft lift. The fans are connected to electric engines that allow it to hover at about the same height as a helicopter.
Jet Capsule claims it can fly for 70 minutes before needing to recharge. The IFO has six telescoping legs along its base for landing. In case of catastrophic failure, the capsule separates from the rest of the machine and a parachute deploys to safely carry the passengers to the ground.
“The vehicle does not change much with respect to the technology that is at the base of a standard drone,” lead designer Pierpaolo Lazzarini told the Daily Mail. “But it is driven from the inside and can have the same elevation of a helicopter.
Jet Capsule has worked with this design in the past. They have unveiled plans for their Unidentified Floating Object (UFO) series of houseboats powered by solar panels and wind/water turbines. The UFOs are intended to be used for a “number of purposes including hotel reception, gym or a floating restaurant,” reads the Jet Capsule website.