A Japanese toymaker that specializes in remote-controlled aircraft is upping its game with a one-seater helicopter.
Hirobo’s one-man helicopter is only slightly bigger than a first-class airplane seat, not including all the necessary flying equipment onboard. According to DVICE, which recently featured the HX-1, the company has invested $125 million for the next seven years to develop a working model. Test flights expected to take place as soon as 2013.
Wired explained that the helicopter can be flown by “fly-by-wire controls” but also via remote control. It foresees a use for the aircraft in emergency and search-and-rescue operations.
“The idea is this full size R/C helicopter could be flown to the person in need, who would then be airlifted to safety,” Wired wrote.
Although it might be a while before this personal helicopter makes it to the commercial market, its price could be an obstacle as well. DVICE pointed out Hirobo plans to sell it for $375,000. There are also bound to be regulatory issues when it comes to piloting an aircraft like this as well. But, it’s fun to dream.
Check out this video, which shows the HX-1 on exhibit: