Single-seat helicopters have long fascinated aviation buffs who dream of Jetsons-like personal transportation.Designed for personal transport (read, rich people), search-and-rescue operations, and emergency evacuations, Hirobo’s HX-1 single-seat helicopter is a revamped version of its predecessor, the GEN H-4.
image: ORGAN LIFE
This all-electric one-person helicopter “prototype can travel up to 100km/h (62 mph) and fly for 30 minutes at a time.” The one-seater chopper is not quite as funky as the James Bond rocket backpack in Thunderball, but it’s getting there.
The HX-1 is equipped with a co-axial main rotor, is battery-powered, and can be flown remotely. Hirobo hopes the HX-1 will be ready for commercial release sometime next year, and will cost 30 million yen ($375,000) for the single-seater, and 10 million yen (over $120,000) for an unmanned version.
This kind of mobile technology is obviously very useful for earthquakes and other disasters when you need to send people into dangerous and difficult terrain to look for survivors. Sure, it’s maximum travel time is very short, but this may be vital for delivering supplies of blood, organs or other emergency equipment.