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Personal Air Vehicle

Posted by: spacecowboy - Mon May 23, 2005 4:30 pm
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Personal Air Vehicle 

When do you think we'll have affordable and safe point-to-point air travel?
In a few years, if certain parties would get off their dead a...AHEM...encourage work on the relevant projects... 26%  26%  [ 5 ]
Maybe in a couple of decades... 32%  32%  [ 6 ]
Maybe by the end of the century... 11%  11%  [ 2 ]
About the same time that we get around to building those hyperdrives. 21%  21%  [ 4 ]
About the same time I buy a robot named Rosie. 11%  11%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 19

Personal Air Vehicle 
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Post Personal Air Vehicle   Posted on: Mon May 23, 2005 4:30 pm
Let's see what kind of votes and responses I get...

First check out these links:

Space.com's article

The Carter PAV

Georgia Tech's analysis

A 2003 /.-type article

And the flagship of the fleet,
Dr. Moller's Skycar

Ladies and Gentlemen...

START YOUR FLAMING!

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Post    Posted on: Mon May 23, 2005 5:09 pm
I read somewhere that back in the 1950s a car that could trailer it's wings and be easily converted into an airplane was built and tested, but the FAA would not certify it. The reason given? The they didn't want "just anybody" flying an aircraft.

(EDIT) Now that I look at your space.com link, I think it may be the Taylor Aerocar that I am remembering, or at least something similar. That article says the Taylor Aerocar did get certified.


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Post    Posted on: Mon May 23, 2005 8:13 pm
We have affordable point-point air travel now. That is there are a large number of peple who can afford their on aircraft with the ability to fly poiint to point.

If you meant affordable for Bangladeshi, then maybe when we are building hyperdrives...

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Post    Posted on: Mon May 23, 2005 9:08 pm
I think spacecowboy is talking about private VTOL vehicles to replace ordinary cars. Something like everyone with their own helicopter, only quieter and safer. Definitely science fiction at this point.


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Post    Posted on: Mon May 23, 2005 10:16 pm
On this issue, I tend to agree with the status quo. Not just anyone can fly an airplane. "Just anyone" has a hard enough time driving a car. I think it will only happen when aircraft can be completely automated.


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Post    Posted on: Tue May 24, 2005 7:19 am
The main reasons why not everyone can fly an airplane or really does it are lack of financial ressources, lack of time, health - I myself wouldn't get a german private piloting licence because of shortsightness of about -12 dioptries - and opportunities to use it for all-days needs.

This may change perhaps due to globalization and airplanes may become cheaper. This may apply to suborbital vehicles too in a century.

...



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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Post    Posted on: Tue May 24, 2005 8:13 am
Flying cars would be really cool ... but only if you happen to be one of a tiny fraction of the community to actually own and operate one. As long as there aren't too many of them zipping around then yeah they would be great, for the owners.

But as the greater public gets increased access then I predict that governing bodies will step in and for the sake of public saftey will begin to regulate that particular mode of transport, and how.

You would have to stick to recognized "skyways" (even above rural lands) and observe speed limits (at least above urban/built up areas). Which would, at a stroke, subtract "freedom" from the phrase "freedom of the skies".

Adding sufficient automation to take operator responsibility away from the operator, while increasing safety, may detract from the whole point of the thing as well.

DKH

(although I haven't owned a car in years and so my opinion on personal motorized transport of any kind is likely of little value or even relevance)

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 24, 2005 12:15 pm
Thanks, Dr. Keith: that's basically my opinion on it. Really cool -- as long as it's still a novelty.

And as for "piloting" the thing, they'd be almost fully automated -- think KIT with wings.

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Post    Posted on: Wed May 25, 2005 11:37 am
While not a nifty VTOL flying car, the facetmobile-derived PAV research looks nice.

http://members.aol.com/slicklynne/facet.htm#FMNASA

However, it really doesn't matter how great the airframe is, if rest of the industry stays in the slump. For example, Lycoming O-320-D2, a popular aeroengine, comes at 160hp, 5,2 liters and weighs 126 kg. It has carburetor induction and magneto ignition. Ccertified spark plugs are $17 each, and need to be changed after every 200 hours. This monstrosity costs $21k and requires a $15k overhaul after every 2000 hours. This is a good reason why General Aviation is not as general as it should be...


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Post    Posted on: Wed May 25, 2005 1:55 pm
Yep yep. Aviation-grade equipment is not as mass-produced as automotive equipment, and is therefore several orders of magnitude more expensive.

That's a halfway decent flying wing, by the way. I don't like the "facet" design, but that's just my outright nitpickiness -- it probably cuts the cost by more than half.

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Post    Posted on: Wed May 25, 2005 3:27 pm
It isn't cost of manufacture that makes aviation so expensive... it is paying all of the lawyers!

Does anybody here really believe that it costs $200,000 to build a four-place high-wing monoplane with a paltry 150HP motor? Please!

The technology for cheap personal air travel is here today. You want to build a low-cost "roadable aircraft?" Here's what you do: Drive to the nearest top-tier engineering college (MIT, CalTech, GT, ERAU, whatever). Stand on top of a building overlooking the quad at lunchtime. Throw in a water balloon. Go downstairs, find the wet person, give them your $200K and they can probably build you a lightweight "roadable" (admittedly, not VTOL, but there are lots of small airports in driving distance, and this "car" would do freeway speeds) to carry you and your best friend, complete with GPS autonav and a ballistic parachute for safety. You'll still have to learn to take off and land like a "real" pilot (whom are a dying breed, BTW) , and it would be rated "experimental," but additional copies would be under $50K, I'll warrant. Hell, I'd be building one myself right now if I wasn't building a house and a family instead.

Now, try to RETAIL that machine, and you can forget it. Insuring yourself against liability suits would cost five figures per copy, at least. Not to mention the process of making it all legal with the FAA and everybody else.

The technology is easy. It's the social engineering that is a challenge.


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Post    Posted on: Wed May 25, 2005 3:40 pm
Wow. Now that was a cool post.

I'm thinking that we need an archive somewhere of all the truly memorable posts that have been made here. Sigurd? Any input?

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Post    Posted on: Wed May 25, 2005 4:01 pm
What killed general aviation is accident liability. It got to the point where $75,000 of the cost of the $200,000 plane was liability insurance. That, plus increasing airspace restrictions and cheap, abundant airline service just killed it. :(


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Post    Posted on: Wed May 25, 2005 5:15 pm
spacecowboy wrote:
Wow. Now that was a cool post.

I'm thinking that we need an archive somewhere of all the truly memorable posts that have been made here. Sigurd? Any input?


Good idea ;) I'll add it to my list of "potential" features on the new site when all main features are ready ;)

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Post    Posted on: Wed May 25, 2005 7:45 pm
"read somewhere that back in the 1950s a car that could trailer it's wings and be easily converted into an airplane was built and tested, but the FAA would not certify it"



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