Italian car companies have been renowned for decades for the beautiful sports cars they design. It looks like their designers have turned their eyes to the skies and are getting ready for the next generation in hot ways to travel … sports flying saucers. You’ve seen crafts that are called flying saucers before, but this one will truly make ETs jealous.
The “Identified Flying Object” (IFO) was recently presented to the public by inventor Pierpaolo Lazzarini, the CEO of Jet Capsule, a maker of futurist enclosed jet skis that Lazzarini proudly calls mini-yachts. They and the rest of his designs fully live up to his motto:
Think about the Future, never forget the past.
If his name sounds familiar, it’s because last year Lazzarini unveiled his “Unidentified Floating Object” – a flying-saucer-shaped floating party boat. While it's cool, it's not ready yet. On the other hand, the prototype for the Identified Flying Object has been made and the crowd-funding has begun.
The two-seat IFO has a spherical cockpit capsule measuring 2 meters (6.5 ft.) in diameter. The saucer shape surrounding it is a 4.7-meter-wide (15.4 ft.) carbon fiber disc (available in various colors) containing eight electric rotary engines to drive eight rotors. Power comes from eight rechargeable batteries, one for each engine, and a backup for emergencies. The IFO has a top speed of 190 kmph (120 mph) at a helicopter altitude and can stay aloft for up to 70 minutes depending on load, speed, weather, etc.
That takes care of the tech specs. Let’s move on to the beautiful design.
On land, the IFO stands 10 feet high on six fold-in extendable legs. The doors of the cockpit capsule swing upwards for easy access. The cool way to enter the cockpit is from underneath via an electric elevator.
Alternatively, each passenger can enter from their side of the IFO using a detachable stairway, giving it the classic look for the flying saucer in the original version of The Day Te Earth Stood Still.
Once inside the cockpit, the controls are as easy to use as the latest technology in quadcopters. While there are plenty of engines to keep the IFO airborne, in the event of a serious emergency the capsule can quickly separate from the disc and descend safely to the ground via parachute.
That’s all of the info Lazzarini released at the announcement. He did not reveal a suggested retail price but assured potential investors that all components are readily available in today’s market.
Will the Identified Flying Object become the Ferrari of the sky? It looks like we’ll soon find out. To paraphrase Pierpaolo Lazzarini, think about the IFO and forget about hoverboards, jetpacks and flying cars.