NASA designs one-person hovercraft

Jan. 20, 2010 at 1:48 PM

HAMPTON, Va., Jan. 20 (UPI) -- NASA Wednesday unveiled its design for a one-person aircraft that would take off vertically, hover, and then cruise horizontally, U.S. officials said.

The nearly silent 12-foot-tall Puffin would stand on end like a space ship, lift off vertically and then cruise horizontally with the pilot lying prone as if in a glider, NASA said in a release.

The twin-engine Puffin was designed by Mark Moore, an aerospace engineer at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. The Puffin was designed with the help of engineers at the Massachusetts and Georgia institutes of technology and the National Institute of Aerospace.

Moore and his team were to discuss the Puffin's design Wednesday in San Francisco at a meeting of the American Helicopter Society.

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