Russian Firearms Manufacturer Kalashnikov Develops a Hovercraft

Fagjun | Published 2017-09-27 18:57

World-famous Russian weapons maker Kalashnikov brings us closer to the future with the development of a new manned hovercraft.

 

Photo by CEN/kalashnikov.media

 

 

The company, best known for manufacturing the AK-47 assault rifle, released a video clip of a helmeted pilot demonstrating how to control the hovercraft with a joystick before letting the craft float a few feet up in the air. As of now, the craft looks a little like a car roof rack outfitted with eight separate propellers. It also has fiberglass panels along its sides, and of course a pilot seat at the center. The company says that the craft can carry one pilot as well as cargo. For now, the craft seems to be somewhat in its bare bones. However, the video also shows the craft with a shell, which will likely be added on as the prototypes undergo further development.

 

The hovercraft is still in development, but it's likely that the finished product will be used in military applications.

 

 

The Future of the Kalashnikov Hovercraft

 

 

 

While Kalashnikov is known for manufacturing small arms, the company has been expanding its repertoire. It recently designed a semi-autonomous combat vehicle, as well as a fully autonomous gun turret.

 

The company's newest vehicle seems to run on battery, not fuel. There seem to be battery packs under the pilot's seat, which supply electricity to the vehicle's rotors. This, as well as the craft's other features, make the vehicle a good fit for military applications. It can be a better alternative to helicopters in certain missions, since the craft is lighter, smaller, less intrusive, and less expensive to use.

 

Photo by CEN/kalashnikov.media

 

 

However, the use of batteries doesn't make long flights look like a real possibility, at least not any time soon. Using batteries may make a vehicle lighter compared to using gasoline, and it's certainly more environmentally friendly. The problem is that the hovercraft may only be able to stay in flight for quite a short while. Battery-powered quadcopter drones, for example, can fly for only about half an hour. Advancements in battery technology may be necessary for the Kalashnikov hovercraft to be able to remain in the air for a longer duration of time.

Hey! Where are you going?? Subscribe!

Get weekly science updates in your inbox!