Meet the AT Black Knight Transformer, the first road-ready Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. Fitted with six rotors for flight and alternating sets of wheels for landing and driving on a variety of terrain, the Black Knight is designed for “autonomous casualty evacuation, medical supply, and manned/unmanned cargo resupply missions.”
Developed by Advanced Tactics Inc., and managed by the U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, the Black Knight is “part of the U.S. Army’s Multi-Mission Medical and Casualty Evacuation Unmanned Air Vehicle and Unmanned Ground Vehicle mission.”
The Black Knight is powered by turbo diesel engines and aerodynamic enhancement that together allows the vehicle to handle a payload capacity of over 1,000 lbs, or up to 5 passengers. During initial testing, the Black Knight achieved an aerial speed of 130 kts and a driving speed of 70 mph.
Although there is much work to be done before the Black Knight is fully operational, it offers an intriguing glimpse into the future of the U.S. military’s vision of multi-purpose vehicles.