Electric-powered tilt-rotor aircraft

The European company AgustaWestland Exif_JPEG_PICTUREhas not only designed, built, and flown the world’s first electric-powered tilt-rotor aircraft, but they managed to create a design which looks freakin’ awesome.  When the rotors are positioned vertically, they’re shrouded, but as far as I can tell (details are sparse), when the rotate 90 degrees for horizontal flight, they’re then unshrouded.  Cool.

Even better, when parked on the tarmac, the rotors can be rotated to the horizontal position and used like wind turbines, charging the batteries from wind power!  Neat.  At this point, it’s only done some unmanned and tethered test flights, so don’t expect to see it in the skies over your city anytime soon.

(via Inhabitat)

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