We were promised jetpacks, but let’s be honest, they’re just plain unsafe. So a nice drone ride is probably all we should reasonably expect. Lift Aircraft is the latest to make a play for the passenger multirotor market, theoretical as it is, and its craft is a sleek little thing with some interesting design choices to make it suitable for laypeople to “pilot.”
The Austin-based company just took the wraps off the Hexa, the 18-rotor craft it intends to make available for short recreational flights. It just flew for the first time last month, and could be taking passengers aloft as early as next year.
The Hexa is considerably more lightweight than the aircraft that seemed to be getting announced every month or two earlier this year. Lift’s focus isn’t on transport, which is a phenomenally complicated problem both in terms or regulation and engineering. Instead, it wants to simply make the experience of flying in a giant drone available for thrill-seekers with a bit of pocket money.
This reduced scope means the craft can get away with being just 432 pounds and capable of 10-15 minutes of sustained flight with a single passenger.