TechHaus Volantis

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Volantis
Role Electric-powered hover vehicle
National origin United States
Manufacturer TechHaus
Designer Studio XO[1]
First flight November 10, 2013
Introduction 2013
Status Operational
Primary user Lady Gaga
Number built One

The TechHaus Volantis is an American electric-powered hover vehicle promoted by pop star Lady Gaga as a "flying dress".

Design and development[edit]

Volantis is a remote-piloted hover vehicle capable of carrying a single passenger. It was designed by the UK based agency Studio XO in consultation with drone designer and pilot Gus Calderon and was constructed in the US by TechHaus, the Haus of Gaga's technology branch, over a period of two years.[2][3]

The design is essentially a scaled-up drone.[2] Six lifting fan units are mounted on booms in a hexagonal formation radiating from a central hub, giving the device the ability to hover three feet above the ground.[4][5] Each fan unit comprises a pair of electric motors, one driving a carbon-fiber composite rotor above and the other driving a similar rotor below. A circular duct surrounds both rotors. The lithium-polymer batteries and associated control and radio link systems are housed in the hub, in order to minimise the weight of copper used for the electrical power cabling. Battery capacity is approximately 250 Ah.[6]

A triangular vertical truss made of titanium extends down from the hub, with a circular landing platform at the bottom. A single passenger stands on the platform and is secured to the truss by a safety harness. The harness is in turn covered by a white moulded carbon fiber "dress".[7]

The passenger has no flight controls, instead a radio link allows a remote operator to pilot the craft.

Operational history[edit]

At her ArtRave event in 2013, inside a building at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Gaga hosted a press conference, where she introduced Volantis as "the world's first flying dress".[4][5] It has been described by Entertainment Weekly as a "hover dress".[8] At the event, Volantis took off and hovered 70 inches above the stage.

Gaga promoted the dress by tweeting earlier in the day, "At 6pm EST today we will beta test VOLANTIS with the world. We invite you into our creative process during her initial stages of lift off."[3] For the demonstration, she transitioned from a white astronaut suit down to black tights and a black body wrap.[3] Gaga quipped that the dress was "maybe a small step for Volantis... but a big-time step" for her.[5]

In May 2017 Volantis was scheduled to be displayed in the "Drones: Is the Sky the Limit?" exhibition at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York.[9]

Specifications[edit]

Data from Hampp, Zolfagharifard, Pallister[4][5][6][10]

General characteristics

  • Crew: none
  • Capacity: one passenger
  • Diameter: 13 ft 1.1 in (3.990 m)
  • Height: 7 ft 6.4 in (2.297 m)
  • Powerplant: 12 × electric motors powered by 250 Ah batteries and mounted two motors and rotors coaxially per duct unit

Performance

  • Service ceiling: 3 ft (0.91 m)

Avionics

  • Remote piloting control equipment

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dugdale, Addy (November 11, 2013). "Lady Gaga Unveils "Volantis," A Flying Dress". Fast Company. Archived from the original on November 11, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Cleghorn (2014)
  3. ^ a b c Shenton, Zoe (November 11, 2013). "Lady Gaga debuts flying dress called Volantis at Artpop album launch party". Daily Mirror. London, United Kingdom. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Hampp, Andew; Lipshutz, Jason (November 11, 2013). "Lady Gaga's artRAVE Party: 'ARTPOP' Performance, Flying Dress & Costumes Galore". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 10, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d Hampp, Andew (November 10, 2013). "Lady Gaga Unveils 'Flying Dress' Volantis". Billboard. Archived from the original on November 14, 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Zolfagharifard, E (November 11, 2013). "How the Gaga-copter works". Daily Mail. Dmg media. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013. 
  7. ^ Pallister (2014)
  8. ^ Anderson, Kyle (November 11, 2013). "Lady Gaga wears a hover dress, performs 'ARTPOP' songs at Brooklyn artRAVE". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  9. ^ Palladino, Valentina (May 11, 2017). "Drones: Is the Sky the Limit showcases drone tech from earliest stages to now". ARS Technica. Retrieved August 1, 2018. 
  10. ^ Pallister (2014), image of blueprint drawing.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]