Russian weapons manufacturer Kalashnikov has just unveiled its version of a hover bike, which the company is calling a "flying car".
A video put out by the company shows a small vehicle flying around a hangar. The vehicle, which has space for one operator, is not powered by a petrol or diesel engine, rather, it is an all electric one that has eight pairs of rotors providing necessary lift.
The operator sits amidst the blades and leans forward as if on a motorbike and flies the vehicle with two joysticks. The company is yet to disclose whether the vehicle will be fitted with gun turrets or any such warfighting accessories.
Towards the end of the video, a shell casing is superimposed on the bare chassis and shows what the end product would possibly look like.
The craft being powered by batteries could be a limiting factor in terms of range and operational time. Flying time of the machine has been estimated to be around 30 minutes, given its size and the placement of battery. Being battery powered also puts a strain on the payload, notes a report in Popular Mechanics.
The demonstration was overseen by what appear to be company officials in the clip.
There is little information on the size of the batteries, the speed of the vehicle and if it will serve any army or warfighting purpose.
Kalashnikov has been busy creating autonomous weapons and AI driven robots. In July, the company announced it is about to bring a range of neural networks-based weapons systems.
The introduction of a human operated flying car is a surprise from the company, but it could possibly be a step toward creating a new platform on which it develops future helicopters and personnel carrying machines that could be used in battle.
The American army is also working on their version of small hover bikes in collaboration with Malloy Aeronautics called the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle.