Batangas, Luzon - A Philippine inventor has unveiled "a flying sports car" that represents the future of transport, riding it out of a warehouse towards a cheering crowd, leaving a cloud of dust in his wake.
Former dancer and camera operator Kyxz Mendiola flew and hovered for a few minutes in a single-seater aircraft powered by the “multicopter” technology commonly used in small unmanned drones.
“It was amazing,” Mendiola commented after what he said was the first public test flight of his invention. “All the hard work paid off. Everything worked perfect.”
Mendiola’s machine, the “Koncepto Milenya”, has a metal frame covered with a carbon-fibre shell; it has 16 electric rotors powered by six lithium-iion batteries, which can keep it in the air for 10-15 minutes, and take two and a half hours to recharge. An added safety feature is that the 16 rotors allow it to keep flying, even if one or two motors fail.\
It's controlled by a portable radio frequency controller; up and down are controlled by the press of a button steering by a joystick. It has been flown as high as seven metres above the ground, can carry 100 kilograms and has a maximum speed of 60km/h.
“Press a button and it will go up, then push the stick forward, it goes forward," Mendiola said. "It’s very smart, that’s why I’m saying it has a lot of potential.”
He said the aircraft could shave hours off trips in cities such as the Philippine capital, Manila, which is crippled by chronic traffic problems.
“When we have to go somewhere about an hour’s drive, this can take you there in five minutes,” he said.
An Australian company, Star8, is partnering with Mendiola to develop the vehicle after a video featuring it went viral on social media. Star8’s chief executive Jacob Maimon plans to mass produce it and market it in Australia, Europe and Hong Kong.