Given that developing a flying Humvee will be expensive, time consuming and risky, you may wonder why DAPRA wants to create one at all. The U.S. Military does a good job of ground patrols with conventional Humvees, and helicopters do a good job patrolling airspace, engaging in aerial combat and providing air support for ground troops.
Safety is the main reason the Pentagon is developing flying Humvees. The conflicts that today's military engages in don't follow traditional rules of battlefield and combat. Instead, the military has to contend with loosely-organized urban fighters who blend in with the civilian population. That makes ordering airstrikes from a helicopter difficult. The risk of hurting civilians is high.
At the same time, ground troops in a conventional Humvee can easily become the victims of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and roadside bombs. In some cases, hostile forces use IEDs and roadside bombs to not only injure American troops, but to also lure more troops to the area, since troops that are hit with IEDs will call for help. Since IEDs are on the ground and can be triggered by contact, a patrol vehicle that can fly might keep troops safe from them, or allow them to evacuate safely and quickly if they're attacked. Flying Humvees would also allow troops to get to an area where they're needed quickly and safely. Also, if ground troops needed intelligence on an enemy's position, rather than calling for helicopter support, which would take time and allow enemies to regroup or hide, they could just get airborne and see for themselves where to concentrate their fire.
Of course, a vehicle that can keep troops safe, drive on the ground and fly is a tough thing to engineer. Keep reading to see just how a flying Humvee will work.