Urban Aeronautics' Cormorant aircraft has successfully completed its first flight, making it the first vehicle of its kind to do so. What makes the Cormorant special is that it's both an autonomous vehicle completely free of any operator and a "fancraft," as Urban Aeronautics terms it.
A fancraft is a flying vehicle that is propelled by fans rather than jets, propellers, or rotors. The benefit of such a system is that it allows the Cormorant to navigate precisely in constricted flight paths without sacrificing fast forward motion. Such qualities are ideal for the Cormorant, as Urban Aeronautics envisions the vehicle being used in military rescue and evacuation scenarios.
The Cormorant's first flight lasted only two minutes, but the feat nonetheless portends a future of fully autonomous flying machines.
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