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News Link • Transportation: Air Travel

Vertical Takeoff Plane Design Flies Three Times Faster Than Helicopters

Yes, those are rotors in the wings.

A team of graduate students from the Georgia Institute of Technology came up with the idea, which won first place at this year's American Helicopter Society International Student Design Competition. There's even a little PDF brochure about the aircraft, which you can browse if you feel like pretending you (and it) are in the position to buy one. The brochure suggests potential buyers might include search-and-rescue teams, the military, hospitals and corporate bigwigs.

Of course, the aircraft hasn't been manufactured, nor will it be. The American Helicopter Society International hosts this competition to encourage engineering students to study vertical takeoff and landing. The specifications that designs must meet include that they're able to hover without using too much fuel, fly significantly faster than helicopters today, and carry "useful loads." The Georgia Tech craft claims to have a maximum payload of 1,741 pounds?not bad, although some helicopters can carry 5,000 pounds or more. 

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