New from Canon - not a good "news"?

Started Jul 8, 2010 | Discussions thread
Joseph S Wisniewski
Forum ProPosts: 33,874Gear list
Like?
Flying car, VTOL, personal air vehicle...
In reply to SLove, Jul 14, 2010

SLove wrote:

Joseph S Wisniewski wrote:

igb wrote:

Joseph S Wisniewski wrote:

It's the year 2000. Where are the flying cars? We were promised flying cars.

(or modular cameras for that matter) but flying cars are here. Now.

http://www.terrafugia.com/

Well, they've got one working prototype. I've seen one working prototype of the basic "little car with wings and a prop" going back over 70 years. (I'm not that old, but when I was a kid in the 60s, my dad had a complete run of Popular Science going back to the 40s).

Yes, those go long way back, and they are not flying cars. A flying car is a VTOL aircraft with the ability for ground travel if necessary.

By whose definition?

No standard setting body has ever came forward and said "This is the definition of a flying car". I've seen the term applied just as often to attempts to make a little car "fly" by adding wings and a prop, as I have to attempts to make a helicopter more civilized by ducting the props.

The only definition I've seen with any "force" behind it is "Personal Air Vehicle", and that's a recent NASA thing, which does apply only to VTOL capable ducted rotor craft with so much automation that they can be handled by someone without helicopter pilot training.

Of course, the minor little detail about absolutely nothing that was actually entered into NASA's "Centennial Challenge" actually resembling an urban VTOL, does tend to take all the teeth out of NASA's definition. All the winners were what went on to become LSA "light sport aircraft".

Actually, reflecting on it for a minute, I can't ever remember seeing a personal VTOL with road capability, unless you're talking about saving fuel (at slow speeds) by getting it into ground effect.

Think a helicopter with wheels and without the huge main rotor.

I'm familiar with the concept. Been keeping up with the literature since Paul Moller. But I'm sure not going to call it a "volantor", just because one of Moller's people re-adds it to the Wikipedia and Wiktionary every few months, forcing more sane people to delete it.

True flying cars are

... certified by the ISO committee on aeronautical terminology?

of course not really feasible as widespread replacement for regular ground cars, since there are no energy sources known to man which could support such vehicles in any other capacity than very rich people's toys. They would make gasoline powered SUVs look like mopeds in comparison.

Yup. Now we're at the part where I agree with you. Much better than arguing "true" terminology that doesn't exist.

And a lot of people aren't very happy about something that simply falls out of the sky like a 2000 pound potato when anything goes wrong, piloted by people even less qualified than the "sport pilots" that I was griping about earlier.

The super-rich already have their helicopters and private jets, so there is very little incentive to design a true flying car even as a toy.

You can't put a helicopter down in some "super rich" neighborhoods, because other super rich will complain about the noise. And the super rich often like to drive, fly, or pilot their own toys. Flying a helicopter is too much like "work", not to mention the training involved.

There have been many attempts, but nearly all of them by small companies with more vision than economic sense.

Hey, sometimes that formula works.

-- hide signature --

Rahon Klavanian 1912-2008.

Armenian genocide survivor, amazing cook, scrabble master, and loving grandmother. You will be missed.

Ciao! Joseph

http://www.swissarmyfork.com

 Joseph S Wisniewski's gear list:Joseph S Wisniewski's gear list
Canon PowerShot S100 (2000) Canon PowerShot S400 Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D90 Nikon D2X +38 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Post (hide subjects)Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark post MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow