Bell Helicopter recently unveiled its new design for an autonomous tiltrotor, the V-247 Vigilant, which will have a 65-foot wingspan and will be capable of carrying a payload of up to 6.5 tons of fuel, armament and sensors. The aircraft, designed for military use, will be able to operate from land or sea, and will be ready to deploy as soon as 2023, according to Bell. The Vigilant will travel at speeds up to 300 knots and can operate within a 250-nm radius.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, said on Tuesday his company is working on a plan for manned flights to Mars, with the aim of establishing a permanent colony there. Speaking before a crowd at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, he set out a number of parameters and goals for the project, noting that each trip should cost no more than $200,000 — about the average cost of a house in the U.S. “We want to make Mars seem possible,” he said.
Uber is taking a serious look at autonomous VTOL aircraft for urban transport, and could have a fleet flying within a decade, chief products officer Jeff Holden said at a Nantucket conference on Sunday. In an interview with Kara Swisher of Re/code, Holden said the technology “could change cities and how we work and live.” Holden said he has been researching the possibilities "so we can someday offer our customers as many options as possible to move around … doing it in a three-dimensional way is an obvious thing to look at."