When the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency says it’s ramping up a new Transformer program, they’re not talking about transferring AC to DC…. They mean transformers, like the toys, turned movie heroes. Only in the case of DARPA, it’s flying cars.
DARPA says their Transformer program will attempt to combine the advantages of ground vehicles and helicopters into a single vehicle. Six vendors will participate in a 12-month effort to develop a robust ground vehicle that can transform into an air vehicle that can take-off and land vertically. It should be able to efficiently travel 250 nautical miles on land and in the air, or any combination, without a dedicated pilot, while carrying up to 1,000 pounds.
The benefits to warfighters would be numerous, including better resupply operations and quicker medical evacuations.