Amazon has sought patents for hitchhiking drones, mini-drones that can sit on shoulders, drones that assemble themselves like Lego toys – and now drones that flip their wings to go from vertical to horizontal flight.
The hybrid foldable-wing design is covered in a patent that was published Jan. 24, following up on an application filed back in 2014.
When the drone takes off, the robo-plane’s jointed wings would be folded around to provide a stable base for a vertical takeoff, with the rotors spinning in a horizontal plane.
But once the drone gets up in the air, the wings and tail would stretch out to create an airplane-style configuration. The rotors would then be spinning in a vertical plane, like a traditional airplane’s propellers, to push the drone forward.
When it’s time to land, the drone’s wings and tail would fold up again for a vertical landing.