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Thread: Flying cars

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by joema View Post
    According to the latest FAA report, there have been ZERO verified collisions of a civil drone and civil aircraft: http://fortune.com/2017/02/24/faa-birds-drones-pilots/
    *Sigh* I'm wrong again.

    This is also irrelevant to a hypothetical manually controlled flying car. That would be a human-carrying aircraft shaped somewhat like a car, and if manually controlled it would be under similar licensing and piloting requirements as conventional aircraft. IOW just because the shape of the hybrid car/aircraft was unique, the FAA would not suddenly abdicate all licensing and regulatory authority.
    If it requires a pilot's license it's an airplane, not a flying car.
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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    *Sigh* I'm wrong again.
    That's how you learn stuff!
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    If it requires a pilot's license it's an airplane, not a flying car.
    Nitpick: "Aircraft" would probably be more appropriate. It might be an airplane (Taylor Aerocar), or not (Moller flying scam-mobile.)
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  3. #63
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    Ha!!! Pretty good, what !!! "Flying scam-mobile" . LOL ( Moller )
    A friend of mine used to mention that . I merely pointed out that it had the glide ratio of a brick
    and that it was extraordinarily vulnerable to severe ' out of phase ' thrust moments with odd engines out ( think floating plastic bags etc ).

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post

    Also, by your reasoning, light aviation planes shouldn't exist, because gravity and crashes, and their engineering is different than that of automobiles.
    Certainly not by me, and I have considerable engineering experience with development of air vehicles.

    Everything in aerospace is expensive -- the engineers (I'm still one; I just don't work in the industry) don't want to kill people -- and rigorous testing, all of which are expensive and time consuming. I don't think some of the posters a) understand how expensive and b) understand how close to capacity the ATC system is especially in urban areas. And that in urban areas there are a lot of high-value buildings which have been deliberately and accidentally flown into.

    To put the likely price of a VTOL taxi into perspective: a poster on a homebuilt aircraft forum posted that the expressed prices of roadable aircraft is high enough so that it would be more cost effective to buy a used airplane -- and you can get quite a nice one for under $200,000 -- and a cheap car in the dozen or so airports you visit regularly, and get a hire car elsewhere.

    And, as an aside, I believe current FARs and the corresponding regulations in the rest of the world require passenger-carrying aircraft to have a pilot. Who must have a license. Who must have a commercial license if the self-loading cargo is paying.
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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    ...I don't think some of the posters a) understand how...how close to capacity the ATC system is especially in urban areas...
    There is no question the current ATC system could not handle many thousands of "Flying cars" (if they ever became widely used): https://www.wired.com/2015/02/air-traffic-control/

    However those would be a future development and would be coordinated with the FAA's NextGen and Free Flight initiatives:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_G...rtation_System

    The ultimate goal of NextGen is to enable "Free Flight" where aircraft will be guided by satellite-based instruments in the cockpit rather than ground based radar and air traffic controllers. Instead of following specific airways in the sky, they would fly point-to-point. Collision avoidance, traffic control, etc would be handled by a distributed system composed of ADS-B transponders in each aircraft, heavily redundant satellite navigation, air-to-air and air/ground datalinks, etc. Although many steps have already been taken, it will be years before that is reached. This will vastly improve the ATC capacity, expand use of thousands of additional airports, enable point-to-point routing, eliminate the requirement for ground-based precision approach, and eliminate the requirement for "straight in" instrument approaches which is a choke point for terminal operations.

    While most of the articles and forums discussing hypothetical "flying cars" are unaware of this, any widespread use of personal aerial vehicles would require the ATC upgrades. But those are already planned and under development. It's also not limited to "flying cars". The planned widespread use of the VLJs (Very Light Jets) "Air Taxi" concept envisioned use of NextGen elements to facilitate point-to-point routing. In a sense VLJs (if deployed according to original projections) would have been a predecessor to flying cars from an ATC standpoint. However for a variety of reasons the projected VLJ boom never materialized: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very_light_jet

    Another initiative requiring advanced NextGen elements is the pilotless airliner, which is well under development: https://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/...cial-airliners That will not be certificated and approved for years, but like "flying cars", will require an enhanced ATC system.

    So the idea that "flying cars" can never happen due to ATC issues is based on the misconception they'd be handled differently than current manned aircraft. The FAA sees them exactly as manned aircraft, whether they have wings or not. To enable widespread use of these would initially require pilot certification and coordination with the then-existing ATC. To enable pilotless flying cars would require further developments in both aircraft, control, navigation and the proposed ATC "free flight" system. Key decision makers already understand this. There are no plans to somehow roll out thousands of pilotless "flying cars" (even if they became available) without commensurate ATC coordination and upgrades. Those upgrades are already happening, albeit not as fast as desired. But if by some miracle "flying cars" began faster development the ATC element would require expediting.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by joema View Post
    There is no question the current ATC system could not handle many thousands of "Flying cars" (if they ever became widely used): https://www.wired.com/2015/02/air-traffic-control/

    However those would be a future development and would be coordinated with the FAA's NextGen and Free Flight initiatives:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_G...rtation_System


    The ultimate goal of NextGen is to enable "Free Flight" where aircraft will be guided by satellite-based instruments in the cockpit rather than ground based radar and air traffic controllers. Instead of following specific airways in the sky, they would fly point-to-point. Collision avoidance, traffic control, etc would be handled by a distributed system composed of ADS-B transponders in each aircraft, heavily redundant satellite navigation, air-to-air and air/ground datalinks, etc. Although many steps have already been taken, it will be years before that is reached. This will vastly improve the ATC capacity, expand use of thousands of additional airports, enable point-to-point routing, eliminate the requirement for ground-based precision approach, and eliminate the requirement for "straight in" instrument approaches which is a choke point for terminal operations.

    While most of the articles and forums discussing hypothetical "flying cars" are unaware of this, any widespread use of personal aerial vehicles would require the ATC upgrades. But those are already planned and under development. It's also not limited to "flying cars". The planned widespread use of the VLJs (Very Light Jets) "Air Taxi" concept envisioned use of NextGen elements to facilitate point-to-point routing. In a sense VLJs (if deployed according to original projections) would have been a predecessor to flying cars from an ATC standpoint. However for a variety of reasons the projected VLJ boom never materialized: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very_light_jet

    Another initiative requiring advanced NextGen elements is the pilotless airliner, which is well under development: https://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/...cial-airliners That will not be certificated and approved for years, but like "flying cars", will require an enhanced ATC system.

    So the idea that "flying cars" can never happen due to ATC issues is based on the misconception they'd be handled differently than current manned aircraft. The FAA sees them exactly as manned aircraft, whether they have wings or not. To enable widespread use of these would initially require pilot certification and coordination with the then-existing ATC. To enable pilotless flying cars would require further developments in both aircraft, control, navigation and the proposed ATC "free flight" system. Key decision makers already understand this. There are no plans to somehow roll out thousands of pilotless "flying cars" (even if they became available) without commensurate ATC coordination and upgrades. Those upgrades are already happening, albeit not as fast as desired. But if by some miracle "flying cars" began faster development the ATC element would require expediting.
    I fully expect that self-flying vehicle would be hacked and flown into high-value real estate, or just the ground.
    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    I fully expect that self-flying vehicle would be hacked and flown into high-value real estate, or just the ground.
    Already, many airline flights are self-flown from moments after takeoff through landing and rollout. The pilot never touches the controls after takeoff and some carriers actually require a full auto-landing, not a manual landing. There are no reports of these self-flown airliners being hacked by outside forces and the pilot having to take over manually, much less being flown into the ground.

    Pilotless airliners are being developed, although this will be a gradual process likely transitioning to a single pilot in cargo operations, then a single pilot with contingency-trained flight attendants in passenger operations, then nominal pilotless passenger operations with a contingency pilot, then pilotless operation with only contingency-trained flight attendants. At every step along the way of this gradual process safety will be analyzed and any issues corrected. This will also require a fuller implementation of the NextGen ATC system, but that's happening anyway.

    Once this is understood it becomes obvious that so-called "flying cars" are simply a smaller version of the self-flying airliners already being developed. They will all have secure, heavily redundant control systems. Today airliners using automatic landings are required to have triple redundant flight control systems, triple redundant autopilots, triple redundant radar altimeters, triple redundant ILS receivers, triple redundant Flight Management Systems, and triple redundant GPS. If any one of those drop off line it must be hand flown, but that's a conservative regulatory requirement not a physical requirement. It can obviously land with only double redundant systems.

    The cost of redundancy is rapidly declining and already many consumer drones have redundant GPS, redundant batteries, redundant inertial platforms, etc. So if so-called "flying cars" are ever developed, in the future the cost of this redundancy will not be a limiting factor.

    Of course security is an issue for any such system, just like it's an issue today for self-flown airliners or semi-self-driven cars like the Tesla. It is theoretically possible every Tesla car in the global fleet could be hacked and remotely taken over. The same is true for all cars with self-driving features. But that theoretical risk will not warrant shrinking back in fear and totally foregoing the advantages provided.

  8. #68
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    " BIRDS !!!!! " ....... "My aircraft" . I'll fly with Sully, thanks.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by joema View Post
    Already, many airline flights are self-flown from moments after takeoff through landing and rollout. The pilot never touches the controls after takeoff and some carriers actually require a full auto-landing, not a manual landing. There are no reports of these self-flown airliners being hacked by outside forces and the pilot having to take over manually, much less being flown into the ground.

    Pilotless airliners are being developed, although this will be a gradual process likely transitioning to a single pilot in cargo operations, then a single pilot with contingency-trained flight attendants in passenger operations, then nominal pilotless passenger operations with a contingency pilot, then pilotless operation with only contingency-trained flight attendants. At every step along the way of this gradual process safety will be analyzed and any issues corrected. This will also require a fuller implementation of the NextGen ATC system, but that's happening anyway.

    Once this is understood it becomes obvious that so-called "flying cars" are simply a smaller version of the self-flying airliners already being developed. They will all have secure, heavily redundant control systems. Today airliners using automatic landings are required to have triple redundant flight control systems, triple redundant autopilots, triple redundant radar altimeters, triple redundant ILS receivers, triple redundant Flight Management Systems, and triple redundant GPS. If any one of those drop off line it must be hand flown, but that's a conservative regulatory requirement not a physical requirement. It can obviously land with only double redundant systems.

    The cost of redundancy is rapidly declining and already many consumer drones have redundant GPS, redundant batteries, redundant inertial platforms, etc. So if so-called "flying cars" are ever developed, in the future the cost of this redundancy will not be a limiting factor.

    Of course security is an issue for any such system, just like it's an issue today for self-flown airliners or semi-self-driven cars like the Tesla. It is theoretically possible every Tesla car in the global fleet could be hacked and remotely taken over. The same is true for all cars with self-driving features. But that theoretical risk will not warrant shrinking back in fear and totally foregoing the advantages provided.
    It's not "shrinking back in fear."

    It's a sensible precaution; quite a lot of blood has been spilled making aviation as safe as it is. Replace pilots with computers, and that process will start all over again. Unlike driving, pilots actually have to prove competence and know that any fatal accidents will be investigated by quite serious, well-trained investigators for whom figuring out air crashes are a full time job.
    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.



  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    ...quite a lot of blood has been spilled making aviation as safe as it is...Replace pilots with computers, and that process will start all over again. Unlike driving, pilots actually have to prove competence and know that any fatal accidents will be investigated by quite serious, well-trained investigators for whom figuring out air crashes are a full time job.
    That blood is still being spilled by professional pilots who previously "proved" their competence. Three recent examples (1) Air France 447 where the co-pilot overrode automatic systems and his own pilot to manually hold the aircraft in a stall from cruise altitude to the ocean surface. Action required to avoid this: simply let go of the controls. (2) AirAsia 8501 where the co-pilot pulled held the aircraft in a stall from cruise altitude to the ocean surface. Investigators believe both of these were not suicide attempts, just confused pilots and lack of cockpit coordination. (3) Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash in San Francisco. Pilot unable to make a straight-in manual approach in perfect weather, with no mechanical malfunctions whatsoever.

    While commercial aviation is statistically very safe, the vast majority of fatal and non-fatal accidents are due to pilot error. As in the above three cases, these errors can be of a gross, almost incomprehensible nature.

    So you are correct that over the course of aviation history, blood has been spilled, but unfortunately this is still happening -- and it's generally due to the pilots. In all three of the above cases an automated aircraft would have continued safely.

    Pilots will never be suddenly replaced by computers. As already mentioned this will be a very gradual, incremental process. It will be likewise with "flying cars" -- if those are ever fully developed. Any widespread use of those or pilotless passenger planes is many years in the future and will require further ATC refinements.

    Re "I'll fly with Sully" -- nobody gets to choose their commercial pilot. You fly with whoever the carrier assigns, including pilots like those who crashed the above three planes.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    " BIRDS !!!!! " ....... "My aircraft" . I'll fly with Sully, thanks.
    He’s retired, so the chances of that are pretty slim.
    As above, so below

  12. #72
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    Just a few more years until FLYING CARS, but by then you won't be able to afford them. Except as taxis. What I want more than anything, though, is one of those long-sleeved shirts with a V on the front, like they wore in "Lost in Space".


    https://www.nbcnews.com/business/bus...n-2023-n957276

    Flying cars could take off as soon as 2023:
    From a one-person flying car to a luxurious five seater, companies are racing to launch the first flying car.

    By Alyssa Newcomb, Jan. 10, 2019, 2:45 PM EST

    LAS VEGAS — While CES attendees are still quite a few years away from being able to hop in a flying car and travel to the annual technology show, several concepts displayed at the 2019 event this week provided a glimpse of what the future could look like. That starts with hailing an Uber copter — possibly as soon as the mid 2020s. At CES, Textron’s Bell division, a partner in the Uber Elevate flying car initiative, showed off its new air taxi concept called the Nexus. While it may fly, make no mistake, the Nexus looks more like a car than an airplane. The concept uses six tilted fans to aid in takeoffs and landings, which are powered by a hybrid-electric propulsion system. Inside the vehicle, four passengers and a pilot can see their flight path projected onto a screen.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
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  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Just a few more years until FLYING CARS, but by then you won't be able to afford them. Except as taxis. What I want more than anything, though, is one of those long-sleeved shirts with a V on the front, like they wore in "Lost in Space".


    https://www.nbcnews.com/business/bus...n-2023-n957276

    Flying cars could take off as soon as 2023:
    From a one-person flying car to a luxurious five seater, companies are racing to launch the first flying car.

    By Alyssa Newcomb, Jan. 10, 2019, 2:45 PM EST

    LAS VEGAS — While CES attendees are still quite a few years away from being able to hop in a flying car and travel to the annual technology show, several concepts displayed at the 2019 event this week provided a glimpse of what the future could look like. That starts with hailing an Uber copter — possibly as soon as the mid 2020s. At CES, Textron’s Bell division, a partner in the Uber Elevate flying car initiative, showed off its new air taxi concept called the Nexus. While it may fly, make no mistake, the Nexus looks more like a car than an airplane. The concept uses six tilted fans to aid in takeoffs and landings, which are powered by a hybrid-electric propulsion system. Inside the vehicle, four passengers and a pilot can see their flight path projected onto a screen.
    That's cool and I'd like to have one. But, really, if it has propellers, it's just a fancy redesigned helicopter. I want anti-gravity, like George Jetson.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Just a few more years until FLYING CARS, but by then you won't be able to afford them. Except as taxis. What I want more than anything, though, is one of those long-sleeved shirts with a V on the front, like they wore in "Lost in Space".


    https://www.nbcnews.com/business/bus...n-2023-n957276

    Flying cars could take off as soon as 2023:
    From a one-person flying car to a luxurious five seater, companies are racing to launch the first flying car.

    By Alyssa Newcomb, Jan. 10, 2019, 2:45 PM EST

    LAS VEGAS — While CES attendees are still quite a few years away from being able to hop in a flying car and travel to the annual technology show, several concepts displayed at the 2019 event this week provided a glimpse of what the future could look like. That starts with hailing an Uber copter — possibly as soon as the mid 2020s. At CES, Textron’s Bell division, a partner in the Uber Elevate flying car initiative, showed off its new air taxi concept called the Nexus. While it may fly, make no mistake, the Nexus looks more like a car than an airplane. The concept uses six tilted fans to aid in takeoffs and landings, which are powered by a hybrid-electric propulsion system. Inside the vehicle, four passengers and a pilot can see their flight path projected onto a screen.
    It seems to me that taxis both on the ground and in the air with vertical take off are the most likely for several reasons as well as cost.
    The chance seems high that most of these will be automatic and we will accept them like elevators with no human operator. Any kind of free will craft mixed in with controlled taxis would really complicate the system. The progress of motors and batteries already makes this feasible but there are all those old fashioned planes and cars around. So progress will happen in centrally controlled states by dictat and the technology will then advance. Air taxis will be more than helicopters although still using fans, much easier to fly and with more redundancy. With a combo of self collision avoidance plud central traffic control there could be thousands in the sky like flocks of birds, all doing short journeys. Maybe the farout possibility will be an air taxi that can drop you on the roof of a moving long distance train, avoiding the hubs, so your trip from door to door is automated even over long distances. Why not?
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    I followed the development of the "flying Jeep" and similar devices from the 1950s and 1960s, and the lack of a gyroscope to balance the vehicles (difficult to do because of weight) was a huge drawback.

    But why bother when you have helicopters and gyrocopters, big and tiny? Just like a flying car, really. And all sorts of hovercraft are out now, especially for flying over water.

    Flying cars are much over-rated. We've done a lot better.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    — Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

  16. #76
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    I was 5 years old when Sputnik went up in 1957. Fins had just come out on cars. These resembled the fins on rockets and jet planes. With the space age, talk of flying cars was rampant. I was sure I would take my driver's test in one.
    I suspect the combination of the car and the general aviation airplane will never go very far, for all the reasons listed above. Airstrips, congestion, distracted drivers. What will probably happen is we get drones can carry a human. There will be no steering wheel, only fully automatic flight would be allowed. Landing areas would be everywhere, requiring only a site inspection and qualification.
    It is going to be noisy and I am not looking forward to it.

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    As an aside, i was considering motor bikes. 200 BHP is common on a superbike now, more than enough to fly. A prop on the back and proper wings, would make a flying machine. Obviously rogallo sails on microlights exist, but a folding wing motor bike might be feasible, by inflation perhaps. Using twin wall fabric an inflated wing could be developed. It needs to be at the centre of mass, so the vehicle might look top heavy. However a drone based taxi remains , for me, the future of transport in conurbations with trains for long distance.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  18. #78
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    Photo of flying car (VTOL small aircreaft, really) included

    https://techxplore.com/news/2019-01-...pe-flight.html

    Boeing flying car prototype completes first test flight

    Boeing said Wednesday its prototype "flying car"—part of a project aimed at "on-demand autonomous air transportation"—has completed its first successful test flight. The electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft said the test was carried out Tuesday outside the US capital Washington, the company said in a statement.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    — Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

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    Disappointing to think a "flying car" has turned out to be a light aircraft or helicopter. "The Jetsons" lied to me.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    — Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Disappointing to think a "flying car" has turned out to be a light aircraft or helicopter. "The Jetsons" lied to me.
    Not only the Jetsons, but Dick Tracy. He had a craft that moved by interacting with the local magnetic field. I was sure it was only a few years away.

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