SALT LAKE CITY — You won’t be flying very high with this futuristic invention, but rather the idea is to get you over rooftops and create more of a straight line to work.
There are a lot of steps and obstacles to get there, but the people behind it believe it can eventually get there.
We live in a time, where inventions can be built at home and where 3D printers, and machining devices help realize dreams.
“This particular machine has a continuous strand carbo-fiber,” Manning said. “Not very long ago this wasn’t a reality, so it’s an exciting time to be alive.”
John Manning is taking full advantage.
“And as a kid, I just always dreamed about flying airplanes, I never wanted to do anything else,” Manning said.
And he can do that now, but why not take it a lot of steps further with something smaller? They call it a personal flying machine.
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“Our real long-term goal (or) vision is something that’s kind of like a flying motorcycle,” Manning said.
As co-founder of Electrafly, Manning and his team design custom drones like this one, made for deliveries but their dream is to use that technology to make flying more accessible.
“Recreational vehicle is probably where this is all going to start. The FAA has regulations that kind of limit the use of a lot of these products right now,” Manning said.
It will have to be a very gradual process. So far, they’ve tested it using very heavy boards, with hopes to try a very limited manned flight later this year.
“We have a small jet engine down here that allows us to offset the lifting requirement of the batteries,” Manning said.
Eventually, he says it will be fully electric, but right now the power cells aren’t strong enough to handle that lift on their own. Manning believes they’ll get there, and his team will keep pushing.
“When people see it … they might think that it’s pretty out there, and it’s just on the edge of crazy, but it’s technologically possible,” Manning said.
Electrafly is run out of Manning’s home for now, but they are moving into a larger space. The plan is to make the flying machines affordable, but at first they will be very expensive.
For the very first models, the price will likely be around $400,000.
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