Designed by Pierpaolo Lazzarini from Italian company Jet Capsule, the drone seats two passengers.
A series of rechargeable batteries located in the I.F.O’s outer disk power each engine.
With a backup battery pack installed in the centre of the capsule body, the vehicle’s estimated flight time ranges between sixty and seventy minutes.
The flying vehicle stands three metres (10 feet) tall and has a capsule cockpit that measures two meters (6.5 feet) in diameter.
It is surrounded by a strong carbon fibre disk to protect passengers without weighing the flying saucer down.
And the vehicle’s cockpit can detach in emergencies – a parachute strapped to the back will then guide passengers to safety.
For a smooth landing, the vehicle has six folding and extending feet with built-in cushioning suspension.
The I.F.O’s futuristic cockpit can be accessed through an elevator that descends from the spherical body.
Users can also reach the capsule through two removable bridges that can be attached to a small ladder or staircase.
‘The vehicle does not change much with respect to the technology that is at the base of a standard drone,’ said lead designer Pierpaolo Lazzarini.
‘But it is driven from the inside and can have the same elevation of a helicopter.
‘I’m looking for investors to make it happen – the technology is on the market.’
It is not known what the final cost of the I.F.O drone will be.
Lazzarini’s Jet Capsule “mini yacht” protoype garnered plenty of attention when it was unveiled in 2013, as did the smaller, faster Reptile version earlier this year. Now, a new 2016 public launch version has been announced. It retains its pod-like look and offers a variety of features and options.
The Jet Capsule was conceived as a personal watercraft or a water taxi. The launch version comprises a full carbon body and photochromic windows. There’s a rooftop sundeck for passengers to relax on, while inside there are driver controls with views of rear and underwater cameras, air conditioning, a heater, seating, tables and a toilet.
In addition to keeping the distinctive shape of the prototype, the new Jet Capsule is pretty much the same size, at 7.6 m (24.9 ft) long, 3.5 m (11.5 ft) wide and 2.3 m (7.5 ft) tall. Lazzarini says these dimensions make the craft twice as wide as others with a comparable length.
Customers can choose from a selection of engine configurations, with petrol and diesel engines available in either a single or dual setup. Total power outputs range from 370 hp (276 kW) up to 600 hp (447 kW) and, from those options, the maximum achievable speed is 38 knots (44 mph or 71 km/h). With a maximum load of 12 passengers and one pilot, the cruising speed is 32 knots (37 mph or 51 km/h).
The new Jet Capsule is available to order now at a cost of US$150,000. Orders are expected to be fulfilled five months after being made.