Aviation: South African start-up, Phractyl designs unique bird-like aircraft

Phractyl

A South African start-up, Phractyl has designed a unique concept aircraft that resembles a bird and is named after a mammal.

According to stuff.co.nz, in a quest to bring sustainable mobility to Africa, Phractyl has unveiled The Macrobat.

The personal hybrid plane is “inspired by nature”, and is unlike anything that the industry has created before.

The concept vehicle, which can be piloted by a person or operated remotely as a drone, is planned to operate with 100 per cent electric power.

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The tracked feet will introduce a degree of multi-terrain capabilities while the larger surface area allows for more balance than a pair of wheels. The legs are able to bend with joints resembling hips, knees, and ankles so that the plane can rise and lower, and tilt backward upon lift-off.

While landing, the plane reclines backward so that the pilot faces up to the sky.

With these qualities, Phractyl’s “personal aerial vehicles” seeks to expand mobility across Africa without introducing new infrastructure that would harm the environment.

It is envisioned the aircraft would be used not just in recreational flying, but also in agriculture, property inspection, and emergency deliveries.

”The aircraft ensures the timely delivery of: blood, blood samples, essential medical supplies, and critical personnel, to rural areas.”

It is still early days, but the company says testing has started.

“Our focus up to now has been towards developing the two most important elements of the aircraft; namely, the wing, and the propulsion concepts.

“With the testing of the wing and propulsion concepts on-going, we are currently working towards building a scale model prototype of the Macrobat to demonstrate the flight performance,” it says on its website.

“Successful execution of this, will allow us to commence with the full-scale engineering development.”

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