This bird-style ‘personal flying vehicle’ is the future we’re here for


The Macrobat is an all-electric plane that crouches on bird’s feet. (Credits: Phractyl / SWNS)

These images show the designs for an all-new personal flying vehicle – which crouches on bird’s feet, tilts its wings, and performs an “almost vertical” takeoff and landing.

The Macrobat is an all-electric aircraft with a unique avian design – and it has already started the prototype construction and testing phase.

South African startup Phractyl (PHRontier for Agile Complex Technology sYstem evoLution) says it takes the concept seriously.

The company says, “With the growing market for light sport aircraft, the Macrobat offers an exhilarating flying experience for aviation enthusiasts.

“A larger, larger-scale variant is being considered in the longer term, which can function as an air taxi.”

The single-seater machine will be able to reach a top speed of 180 km / h (Credits: Phractyl / SWNS)

Macrobat is under development in South Africa (Credits: Phractyl / SWNS)

The single-seater plane could be the future of individual transport (Credits: Phractyl / SWNS)

Phractyl also suggests uses for transporting medical supplies, agricultural uses such as fertilizing fields, inspecting infrastructure, and moving high-value goods.

Currently configured as a single-seater, the Macrobat will have a maximum range of 150 km, will be able to fly at 180 km / h and carry 150 kg of payload.

Phractyl says: “We started by running simulations to predict the aerodynamic performance of the wing. Then, a wing-scale prototype was built and experimentally tested, which confirmed the results obtained in the simulation environment.

“With the wing and propulsion concept tests underway, we are currently working on building a scale model prototype of the Macrobat to demonstrate flight performance. Successful execution of this will allow us to begin with full-scale engineering development. ‘

It can take off almost vertically (Credits: Phractyl / SWNS)

The aircraft will have a maximum range of 150 km (Credits: Phractyl / SWNS)

When completed, it will be able to carry up to 150 kg of freight (Credits: Phractyl / SWNS)

The company is asking for an investment in the project to move it through the design and manufacturing stages.

He adds: “The primary purpose of the aircraft is to tackle Africa’s most critical transportation challenges. This concerns in particular the mobility of people and objects, in areas that are difficult to access by land transport infrastructures.

“Most airplane wings are only able to lift after showing some speed gains. The innovative Macrobat wing is able to generate lift at low speeds, ensuring safe and controlled landings, regardless of the condition of the propulsion system.

“Due to the swing-wing design (pun intended), the aptly named Electric Near Vertical Take-off and Landing (eNVTOL) provides enviable performance, even over rough terrain. “

South African startup Phractyl (PHRontier for Agile Complex Technology sYstem evoLution) says it takes the concept seriously. (Credits: Phractyl / SWNS)

It could be Africa’s first air taxi (Credits: Phractyl / SWNS)

It can be used as an airplane or remotely piloted as a drone (Credits: Phractyl / SWNS)

The Macrobat can operate as an airplane or as a drone. It can be flown by one person, flown remotely with a passenger, or flown remotely with cargo only.

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