Snowstorm - personal flying machine by NUS students.
Credit: Image courtesy of National University of Singapore
A team of eight engineering students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have successfully built Singapore's first personal flying machine, dubbed Snowstorm. Comprising an intricate design of motors, propellers and inflated landing gear set within a hexagonal frame, Snowstorm is an electric-powered aircraft capable of vertical take-off and landing that can be controlled by a single person seated within it. The NUS team envisions this as a clean and simple way to realise our dreams of flying.
The personal flying machine was built over a one-year period, under the auspices of FrogWorks, a collaboration between NUS Faculty of Engineering's Design-Centric Programme (DCP) and the University Scholars Programme (USP). FrogWorks engages students in the study, design and construction of clean leisure craft, a rapidly growing segment of green technology. Previous FrogWorks projects include the conversion of a sport motorcycle and a yacht from petrol to electric propulsion.
Personal flight - from fantasy to reality
In its current prototype, the personal flying machine can bear the load of a single person up to 70kg for a flight time of about 5 minutes. Rather than a mode of transportation, the team envisions this more as an electric aircraft for personal recreational use in a large indoor space, to satisfy one's desire to fly freely.
"A common trope in popular science fiction is the projection of humans flying on our own - think the Jetsons, or even Back to the Future. NUS' Snowstorm shows that a personal flying machine is a very real possibility, primarily as a means to fulfil our dreams of flying within a recreational setting, " said Dr Joerg Weigl, one of two supervisors of the project, who is from the Design-Centric Programme at the NUS Faculty of Engineering.