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Posted: 9/6/2004 8:13:01 AM EST
www.trekaero.com/index.html

I think it used to be called the Solo Trek, but it looks like it's called the Springtai now...

I actually just found this link so I have to read up on it. The testing that I was following on the Solo Trek sounded cool, but didn't look like it was really going to "get off the ground".

Don't know if they finally got this thing to deliver as they described.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 8:15:22 AM EST
Glad to see someone bought the rights to that.

How SoloTrek managed to squander $5 million in DARPA money and put itself in bankrupcy in two years is amazing.
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 8:29:02 AM EST
Saw both units at an exhibition in Tampa recently. Interesting concept, but where it's going is anyones guess. They have a video of the Springtail and it does hover nicely, but I'm not sure what the utility is for manned flight. Same goes for the Dragonfly.

Some navy aviators were discussing the merits of the Dragonfly while I was there. They seemed intrigued, but thats about as far as it got.

RJ
Link Posted: 9/6/2004 8:59:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By voneisen88:
Saw both units at an exhibition in Tampa recently. Interesting concept, but where it's going is anyones guess. They have a video of the Springtail and it does hover nicely, but I'm not sure what the utility is for manned flight. Same goes for the Dragonfly.

Some navy aviators were discussing the merits of the Dragonfly while I was there. They seemed intrigued, but thats about as far as it got.

RJ



I guess the DoD conceptual use is almost a next generation of Air Assault... In that capacity it sounds really cool. It would certainly take a lot of training to get soldiers to make the best use of it in coordinated "aerial" attacks... in a urban environment anyway.

The video I remember seeing was of a very loud, wobbly Solo Trek that barely looked like it was getting of the ground.

When a company basically goes under after they have been contracted through DARPA and given money, what happens? Are they responsible to turn over all R&D and materials over to DARPA so they can give it to another company to continue the work?
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 4:40:49 AM EST
ONe thing I wondered about this thing is that if you are moving along hovering, say, 100 ft above terra firm and you go off a cliff. Will it maintain it's position or drop down?

I'm sure it's the same principle as a helicopter, but I would ask the same thing about that... not very versed in the science of this sort of thing.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 4:53:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2004 4:53:52 AM EST by Ustulina]
I know how they squandered $5 million-- they took an unworkable concept and stuck with it too long.

it looks like a very large skeet target with a high noise and heat signature and little payload capability.

The notion of levitation works great if you don't accelerate at 9.8m/ss and weigh a crapload like humans and bullets do.

These things all look like that helicopter in "The Road Warrior." Very interesting and very marginal.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 5:42:37 AM EST
Used in "Secret Agent Cody Banks" by Angie Harmon. Or at least a mock up of one. I personally thought it looked ridiculous.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 5:56:02 AM EST
I thought I read somewhere that they were trying to incorporate something like this into the exoskeleton "strength enhancement" system for "future" soldiers.

Yeah, now that you mention it it doesn't much unlike the Inspector Gadget helicopter from the hat thing... juts a lot bulkier and a lot noisier.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:26:19 AM EST
John Carmack, a co-founder of Id Software (Doom) has created a neat VTOL solution as well:

www.armadilloaerospace.com
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