Imagine a future army where every soldier on a special ops team quietly swoops into a target aboard their own personal, all-electric aircraft. The stuff of science fiction? Not really, especially when you take a good look at a concept one NASA aerospace engineer cooked up not too long ago. It is called the Puffin.
Puffin, as mentioned in Inhabitat, is a type of “vertical take off and landing aircraft.” It has an all-electric motor, making it super quiet in the air, and reportedly could fly up to 9,150 meters (5.7 miles or so) in high altitude environments. It would be powered by lithium phosphate batteries which, because of current technology limitations, would only allow it to fly 50 miles in normal air conditions (lower altitudes).
There are quite a few other interesting facts about the Puffin concept, according to NASA. These include a “design that’s part plane, part helicopter that stands upright on the ground,” a tail that splits to become landing gear and the fact that it takes off like a helicopter, becoming more of a jet to fly forward when the single passenger leans horizontally in the cockpit.