Military unveils 'transformer'

Okay, so it's not quite like Optimus Prime, but the 'Black Knight' is a flying truck, the first rescue and supply vehicle of its kind.

Earlier this year, Advanced Tactics Inc. announced the successful test of the new AT Transformer vehicle. Called the AT Black Knight Transformer, it the world's first 'roadable' VTOL aircraft, meaning it can drive on the ground and fly in the air.

The AT Transformer technology is the first of its kind and is capable of performing vertical takeoffs and landings. According to Advanced Tactics, "the patented AT Transformer technology combines the capabilities of a helicopter, such as the ability to take off and land anywhere, with the capabilities of an off-road automobile."

Development of the vehicle began in 2010; designers set out to create a vehicle capable of manned or unmanned that would be able to evacuate casualties and perform resupply missions in combat zones.

The AT Transformer is similar to the Army's new Black Hawk helicopter, but is different in that it can be used as regular road vehicle. Fortunately, the new helicopter also requires minimal training to operate.

It was built with the ability to carry over 1,000 lbs--roughly five passengers--within a 250 nautical mile range. On the ground, the vehicle can carry up to 1,600 lbs of payload, or approximately eight passengers. It can cruise at a speed of 130 knots and drive at up to 70 mph.

The vehicle is being billed as a revolutionary way to evacuate wounded soldiers and resupply soldiers in combat zones.

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