[FoRK] Where the F&@# is my flying car?
Malcolm Greenshields <
greenshields at uleth.ca
> on >
Mon Sep 11 06:45:19 PDT 2006
Eugen Leitl wrote:
>On Mon, Sep 11, 2006 at 08:23:02AM -0400, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
>>There are two levels of "possible": scientifically/engineering possible
>>and commercially viability. There are many things that are
>>scientifically possible that are not yet commercially viable. The
>>reason that everyone keeps predicting the flying car is because it has
>>been perfectly scientifically possible and engineerable for a long
>Stabilizing a personal VTOL aircraft in a cluttered urban
>environment is a control nightmare. Letting people fly is just
>not an option. Building such an advanced controller in a cheap
>enough package reliable enough to be insured is the reason
>personal aircraft hasn't been happening yet.
>Otoh, UAV environment is principally simpler than a car's, so
>we will see progress there earlier.
>>time. They have been built, tested, and actually put on the market.
>>They just aren't commercially viable compared to normal planes and other
>>forms of transportation.
>What's also a problem is fuel use and range. VTOL takes far larger
>amount of fuel than gliding by aerofoil. Increasing range will require
>heavier aircraft, which will need even more fuel. Of course, 500-600 km
>range might be enough...
>>BTW, Look into "Light Sport Aircraft" and an FAA "Sport Pilot License".
>>You can get the latter in a week and the former for something like the
>>cost of a sports car, some with over 700 mile range. This is a huge
>>revolution potentially on both sides (although the Sport license has
>>many practical limits; you really want a Private Pilot with Instrument
>>Rating). There are suddenly many manufacturers of Light Sport Aircraft
>>innovating on cost, performance, and avionics. Several Czech companies
>>seem to be very popular right now. It is entirely possible that a
>>"flying car" might now evolve from one of these, although it is likely
>>that the multi-engine barrier would need to be crossed which would
>>necessitate something like "simplified multi-engine light sport aircraft".
>Two words: takeoff strip. That completely nixes the idea. For 98%
>of all users, you absolutely, positively need a VTOL. And can you
>imagine how compatible flock-guidance and collision radar (TOF UWB)
>is with conventional human-guided aircraft? With suddenly obsolete
>concepts like traffic corridors?
>I don't like surveillance UAVs one bit, but it's good that they're
>testing the waters of human/machine airspace interoperability.
>And they're light enough to not produce major mayhem when crashing.
>FoRK mailing list
What happened? In elementary school the 50's, we were all promised
flying cars in the *FUTURE*, along with completely robotic kitchens
(when we didn't want to eat meals available in a single pill), and we
were going to have so much leisure that we would all be swanning about,
thinking of and doing "higher things."
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