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Electric-Powered, Personal Flying Machine Created by Students

First Posted: Dec 03, 2015 07:30 PM EST

Students have managed to build an electric-powered personal flying machine. Named Snowstorm, it could be a clean and simple way to realize our dreams of flying.

The flying machine was built over one year, and students studied, designed and constructed the craft. The current prototype can bear a load of a single person up to 70 kg for a flight of about five minutes. Rather than a mode of transportation, the researchers believe it will be more of an electric aircraft for personal recreational use in a large indoor space.

"A common trope in popular science fiction is the project of humans flying on our own-think the Jetsons, or even Back to the Future," said Joerg Weigl, one of two supervisors of the project, in a news release. "NUS' Snowstorm shows that a personal flying machine is a very real possibility, primarily as a means to fulfill our dreams of flying within a recreational setting."

Aside from the construction of the physical frame, the students also designed and implemented the craft's electronic control and stabilization system, a pilot safety system as well as an electric energy management and supply system where the three batteries that power the craft can function independently in the event any of the batteries malfunction.

"Recent advances in motors and battery technology has made it possible for us to literally take to the skies," said Martin Henz, one of the researchers. "The NUS team will continue to fine-tune Snowstorm, working on mechanical safety measures, propeller and motor configurations, and control software and hardware to achieve the high levels of safety, simplicity and performance required for recreational use by the general public."

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