Gear | June 29, 2016 9:00 am

“Backpack Helicopter” Is So Compact You Can Store It on Your Fire Escape

Just don’t let your super see it

Deyrolle Taxidermy (Paul Léger)
Deyrolle Taxidermy (Paul Léger)

“Once you have tasted flight,” earthbound man Leonardo da Vinci once surmised, “you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.”

Leo never got to put that theory to the test — despite efforts to the contrary — but 500 years later, a contraption named for him will.

The Airvinci Helicopter is a single-seat “backpack helicopter” powered by two gas engines that give it 56 flying ponies and a max speed of 44 MPH. It can safely convey up to 260 pounds of payload (human or otherwise) for up to three hours.

The no-runway-required aircraft — which will also be available in a drone model — can take off and land in almost any location, and you can pilot it from the cockpit, via remote or just leave it to its own devices thanks to autonomous functionality. With a compact design and a diameter under seven feet, the Airvinci easily stores in a garage, trailer or even on a fire escape (just don’t let your super find out).

In addition to using the tiny chopper for recreation, skydiving trips, transporting cargo and search-and-rescue operations, company founder Tarik Ibrahim also envisions his 200-pound flying machines as the Ubers of the future. Test flights are set to begin this summer, and the helicopter is expected to sell for around $100k, while the seat-less drone version will cost $65k.

The folks at Airvinci better get their project off the ground, though, if they want to be the next Uber.

They’ve got some competition.

Via The Drive