NASA Puffin: Cool Concept, Shame it Never Flew

nasa puffin  NASA Puffin: Cool Concept, Shame it Never Flew(Image: NASA, public domain)

In early 2010 the online realm was buzzing with news of the Puffin, a NASA concept for a one-man personal aircraft capable of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL).  The brainchild of aerospace engineer Mark Moore, the electric aircraft was designed to stand 12 feet high and transport a lone pilot around 50 miles at speeds potentially reaching 150 mph.

NASA built a one-third scale proof-of-concept model in 2010 as a means of exploring new technologies and the transition from cruise to hover flight.  However, the Puffin was never intended to be a production vehicle and despite its potential application – military and/or civilian – and inarguable appeal, the concept shown above never actually flew.