There are plenty of companies out there working on VTOL manned multirotor designs, from Joby Aviation and eVolo to Jetpack Aviation and Russia’s Hoversurf. But there’s only one group we’re aware of that’s actually already built and tested a vehicle capable of doing 70 mph (113 km/h) on the highway and flying 10,000 feet in the air – and that’s Advanced Tactics, Inc, (AT) out of Torrance, California, which has just announced the AT Transporter, a multi-mission quadcopter capable of carrying up to six people or 1,200 lb (544 kg) of cargo.
AT’s Black Knight Transformer is a gigantic thing, and it’s ahead of the rest of the crowd because it’s not waiting around on battery technology to make it viable. Focused on military applications, the pilot-optional aircraft uses gasoline motors instead of electric ones to power its propellers, giving it huge range and immediate refueling advantages over its electric brethren.
Now, the company is striking out on a pure VTOL multirotor project without the roadable elements. The AT Transporter is a modular, heavy-lift VTOL platform that boasts multi-mission capabilities thanks to detachable passenger/cargo modules that clip in under the airframe, and it’s got some pretty impressive performance stats.