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Ehang

This New Drone is Designed to Transport Humans

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Ehang

Drones have been used to deliver everything from booze to pizza, and now there's one that can transport people too. 

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this week, Chinese drone maker Ehang debuted their new, 440-pound drone featuring a cockpit built for one. The Ehang 184 can carry a single passenger weighing 220 pounds or less, and fly them at speeds reaching 63 miles per hour. The rider starts the journey by inputting their flight plan, and from there they only instruct the vehicle when to take off and land. The drone takes care of the rest.

During the flight, passengers can read by the 184’s reading light while relaxing in the air-conditioned cockpit. And if anything should go wrong, a fail safe system kicks in that causes the drone to either revert to hover mode or find a safe spot to land. According to Derrick Xiong, the company’s chief marketing officer, the vehicle has been operated over 100 times, including several trips with human cargo. 

The Ehang 184 is not yet legal in the U.S., but the company told Mashable they’re currently in contact with the FAA. If the passenger drone does hit the market any time soon, it's expected to be listed between $200,000 and $300,000. You can watch the drone in flight in the video below.

[h/t: The Guardian]

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History
When Chuck Yeager Tweeted Details About His Historic, Sound Barrier-Breaking Flight

Seventy years ago today—on October 14, 1947—Charles Elwood Yeager became the first person to travel faster than the speed of sound. The Air Force pilot broke the sound barrier in an experimental X-1 rocket plane (nicknamed “Glamorous Glennis”) over a California dry lake at an altitude of 25,000 feet.

In 2015, the nonagenarian posted a few details on Twitter surrounding the anniversary of the achievement, giving amazing insight into the history-making flight.

For even more on the historic ride, check out the video below.

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History
How the Wright Brothers' Plane Compares to the World's Largest Aircraft
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The Wright brothers famously built the world’s first powered, heavier-than-air, controllable aircraft. But while the siblings revolutionized the field of aviation, their early plane looks tiny—and dare we say quaint-looking—when compared to the aerial giants that came after it.

In Tech Insider’s video below, you can see how the Wright brothers’ flyer stacks up against the scale of other aircrafts. You'll notice that size doesn't always guarantee a successful journey. The Hughes H-4 Hercules—the largest flying boat ever made—never made it past the prototype stage, performing only one brief flight in 1947. And the Hindenburg, which was 804 feet long and could fit 80 Olympic swimming pools, famously exploded on May 6, 1937.

Today’s longest commercial airliner is the Boeing 747-8, which measures 251 feet from nose to tail. While slightly shorter (238 feet), the Airbus A380 is certified to hold more people than any other plane in the air—a total of 850 passengers. That record won't last long, though: In a few years, the Stratolaunch carrier—the widest aircraft ever built—will dwarf its contemporaries when it takes to the skies in 2019. Built to launch rockets into orbit, its wingspan is about the size of a football field, even bigger than that of the Hughes H-4 Hercules.

Still, what the Wright brothers’ plane lacked in size, it made up for in ingenuity. Without it, these other giants may never have existed.

[h/t: Tech Insider]

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