The Flying Platform

According to the Air and Space Museum:

In the mid-1950s, Hiller constructed a series of innovative Flying Platforms for an Army-Navy program as a one-man flying vehicle that the pilot could control with minimal training. The pilot simply leaned in the desired direction and the platform would follow. The platforms, which utilized the aerodynamic advantages of the ducted fan, were incapable of tumbling, because if the pilot leaned over too far, the platform would pitch up and slow down.

Unfortunately, the flying platform was plagued by engineering problems. Otherwise, we'd probably all be floating around cities in these today. More info here

     Posted By: Alex - Mon May 21, 2012
     Category: Inventions | Military

There's a concept to be admired. Get yourself up above the general fray so you can be spotted by the enemy more easily. Of course the bobbing and weaving would make it harder for them to hit you but then, again, you'd be pretty useless as a sniper too.

This puts me in mind of being asked if I wanted to go to Viet Nam and drive the wooden river boats around while Charlie used me for target practice from the jungle alongside the banks. I'm still here so you may ass/u/me that I declined.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 05/21/12 at 10:14 AM
I remember that the concept would be used also for scouting / reconnaissance purposes. I wonder how long it took before someone pointed out that what must have been the incredibly loud droning of the motor and fans would defeat the purpose.

Another vehicle in this category would be the Avro Flying Car which was designed to soar thousands of feet in the air but never succeeded in more that a dozen feet at a cost of a LOT of money.
Posted by KDP on 05/21/12 at 10:29 AM
I've seen this before on the WINGS documentary on Discovery Channel. It reminds me of a flying Segway :lol:
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 05/21/12 at 04:53 PM
If I didn't trust you I'd think this was a joke.

I'm surprised no one brought these back for entertainment purposes.
Posted by cavalier on 05/21/12 at 05:18 PM
I read that opening way too quickly, and thought it said:

"In the mid-1950s, Hitler constructed a series of innovative Flying Platforms..."

This would have proved those conspiracy theories about Hitler surviving the bunker and going on to work at a Der Wienerschnitzel in Berlin.
Posted by Robert on 05/21/12 at 09:49 PM
That does not look like the best possible set up for the thing.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 05/22/12 at 12:05 AM
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