From Mini Drone to Urban Air Mobility: NANCo Aero Flying Cars
NANCo Aero Flying Cars – Coming to Houston
By: Dawn Zoldi
Most humans have only traveled in two dimensions, and have yet to experience three dimensional, or vertical, travel. The New Age Nerds (NANCo) Aero Corporation intends to change that…at least for those living in Houston, Texas. The company hopes to demonstrate its first vehicle, which looks like a car but flies as a hybrid vertical take-off-and-landing (vtol) aircraft, in the next few years in the greater Houston area.
Founded in 2021, NANCo Aero is a privately held, modern technology company that provides products and services to commercial, small business, government, and nonprofit organizations. Its services include innovative research and development (R&D), new product development, and consulting. Its products include three different classes of advanced air vehicles – the ER Mini, ER Industry and Full Scale Rider – and a simulator to train pilots to fly them.
The ER Mini, a 1/17th-scale replica of the Full Scale Rider, fits in a shoebox. More akin to a traditional drone, it weighs approximately two pounds and can carry an equivalently weighted parcel up to one kilometer. It is available now to consumers, including “last mile” logistics operators and recreational drone enthusiasts.
NANCo Aero Flying Cars
NANCo Aero designed its next larger vehicle, the ER Industry, a smart-car sized equivalent, to carry a single passenger. According to NANCo’s CEO, Shern Peters, a trained mechatronics engineer with sixteen years of R&D experience and eight patents to his name, this model will be ideal for emergency responders, those who support critical infrastructure and for larger package delivery needs
Peters said, “The ER Industry vehicle will alleviate the need for emergency responders to sit in traffic. It will allow firefighters to fly into hard to reach areas like high rise fires. It will allow police to easily reach off-road accidents. Our flying cars will save lives.” (Fun fact: mechatronics engineers use a combination of mechanical, electrical, computer and software skills to work with smart technologies, such as robots, automated guided systems and computer-integrated manufacturing equipment.) The company has already started production of the ER Industry model and anticipates flight trials by next year.
NANCo’s largest vehicle, the Full Scale Rider, will be large enough to carry four passengers. Peters anticipates this sports utility vehicle (SUV)-sized vehicle will provide a safe, reliable and quick regional travel option for small groups, in addition to its potential public safety, critical infrastructure and military applications. For example, offshore oil companies could use the Full Scale Rider to transport people and equipment to rigs. It would also provide a faster evacuation method. The time horizon for this one is out a bit further, given the robust certification and approvals processes the company will face.
NANCo planned the rollout of this triumvirate of vehicles deliberately. “The ER Mini is the first step to realizing our vision. It operates like a drone, but provides the experience of flying a VTOL,” said Peters, who refers to himself as “The Urban Astronaut.”
To Peters, the experience of taking off and landing vertically, hovering, rotating and then flying, has a different feel than flying in 2D. The ER Mini helps to provide the required skills to fly the company’s larger vehicles, as does its Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Simulator.
The AAM Simulator is an app to provide pilots with relevant flight experience and the necessary skills to operate in urban environments, such as Houston. “In the app you’re flying our vehicle from the flightdeck, in a real city environment. The goal is to get the pilot comfortable and proficient at controlling our vehicles,” noted Peters.
The simulator is currently available for free on the company’s website. Members of NANCo Aero’s “Flight Club” on Patreon, a membership platform that makes it easy for creators to be paid for their work, can also access a virtual reality (VR) version of the simulator.
All three air vehicles incorporate new and emerging proprietary technologies and methods. In fact, one of Peters’ patents arose from his work on NANCo’s vehicles.
Peters said, “We are ‘The Future of Space in the Making.’ At NANCo Aero, we plan to uplift the aerospace and transportation industries and life for future generations of innovators.”
Hear an in-depth interview of NANCo on Dawn of Drones – and learn. more about flying cars:
Dawn M.K. Zoldi (Colonel, USAF, Retired) is a licensed attorney with 28 years of combined active duty military and federal civil service to the Department of the Air Force. She is an intIernationally recognized expert on unmanned aircraft system law and policy, a columnist for several magazines,recipient of the Woman to Watch in UAS (Leadership) Award 2019, President and CEO of UAS Colorado and the CEO of P3 Tech Consulting LLC. For more information, visit her website at: https://www.p3techconsulting.com.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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