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Pentagon Develops Flying Humvee


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(Oct. 1) -- So you think you can fly? The Pentagon's research and development arm announced this week that it had selected a company to design an airborne Humvee.

AAI Corp., which has a concept for a combined gyrocoptor-jeep, is getting about $3 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to work on this wild-sounding idea, and Lockheed Martin is expected to be awarded a similar amount soon for a competing flying Humvee design.

Will the Pentagon really have a fleet of flying Humvees some day? Not all ideas for aircraft make it off the drawing board and into production. Here are five recent "out there" aircraft projects sponsored by the Pentagon that would do Tom Swift proud:

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working to develop a fully automated, four-seat flying Humvee.

1. Flying Humvee. The formal name for this Jetsons-like project is Transformer, because the apparatus is supposed to transform itself from land vehicle to aircraft. The goal of the project sounds impossibly ambitious: Build a fully automated four-seat military vehicle that can leave the road and fly into the air at the first sign of danger. It follows on a century's worth of work on building flying cars.snip
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