Developing an idea first sought by the U.S. military — one-man, easy-to-fly helicopters — Avimech has created a 230-pound helicopter that uses hydrogen peroxide for fuel and emits nothing but water vapor. The Dragonfly can reach an impressive 100 knots and can fly for 90 minutes without refueling, drawing on the simple decomposition of commercial-grade hydrogen peroxide.
We love to see green ideas originate within the U.S. military: it proves that moving away from fossil fuels makes sense for more reasons that just the climate. The Dragonfly uses two small 102 horsepower-equivalent rocket motors mounted on the tips of the rotor. (The positioning makes the chopper easier to fly; it can be flown with just one hand — no pedals.)
The helicopter does, however, consume 11 gallons an hour of hydrogen peroxide, with each one costing about $4. And the craft itself goes for a cool $120,000. But at least the aviation industry has got a green starter chopper — and we won’t have to launch more wars for oil to keep it flying.