Meet Snowstorm, the flying car for the drone generation

Personal flying machine from Singapore has lift-off

Ever sat in your chair at work or school, wishing you could just fly away? Well, it seems some engineering students from the National University of Singapore may have felt that same yearning and taken the feeling all too literal, having built the country’s very first personal flying machine.

Dubbed Snowstorm, this personal aircraft is reportedly capable of flying a seated person for a duration of around five minutes (though the video below is much, much shorter than that) and is powered entirely by electricity.

Looking a bit like a giant drone, the Snowstorm has a strong hexagonal frame built from anodized aluminium poles, Kevlar ropes and carbon fiber plating.

A seat hangs down from the middle of the Snowstorm’s frame from a 3D-printed mount, allowing its pilot to sit and control the aircraft’s thrust, pitch, roll, and yaw using a specially designed control system.

Fly me through the room

The team has also implemented a group of six landing legs with inflatable balls on the ends, allowing for more comfortable landings, though at present, flight tests have only occurred indoors.

The Snowstorm, which took a team of eight students a year to make, is powered by rechargeable lithium batteries and features 24 motors with propellers which allow it to take off vertically.

So far, the team is still fine-tuning the aircraft’s various programmed flight modes and safety systems, though it hopes to release a recreational version that’s ready for public flights in the not-too-distant future.

Check out a video of the Snowstorm’s (very short) maiden flight below.