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obligatory flying car

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:56 pm
by adastra
What about the long-predicted, never achieved, flying car?

Moller ( ) has been developing his Skycar concept for the last 25 or 30 years and has so far produced just flying tethered test beds.

Now NASA is getting into the act with a one-man, all electric, VTOL entry. Only theoretical and simulations at this point, but maybe it will stimulate the field. ... alth-plane

Of course, if everyone had one, then we'd have flying traffic jams and flying traffic accidents. Then we'd have debris dropping from the sky everywhere. So we would need a real, accurate, and automatic traffic-avoidance system. Ground-based like our current ATC system? on-board, peer-to-peer in a distributed learning system? I don't know, both would have advantages and disadvantages.

For a common vehicle, say 50% of the current on-road load, it would have to be simple enough for 50% of the driving public to be able to operate it safely. Either cross-linked controls (so you just turn a wheel, rather than wheel-and-pedals) or fully automatic controls. I would imagine no less than current requirements to get a license, say 25 hours of training, plus another 25 hours of operation with a licensed pilot on board. Also, I imagine the FAA would continue to oversee training and licensing as it does now for aircraft, rather than having 50 different sets of regulations and training requirements as is currently the case for gound vehicles.

Re: obligatory flying car

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:59 pm
by aburt
Can I add "self-flying" to the attributes? :) And "fast"? :)

I was talking to a friend of mine who works for an airline, and he was saying how the newer planes are actually so automated that they almost don't need the pilot. So, ok, that's what I want in my flying car: I tell it where I want to go, then I sit back in luxury and read (write!), watch a movie (make a movie in my head), play chess, whatever.

If we can't have teleportation then I'd like my flying car to be extremely fast -- fast enough to get me anywhere on the globe in, say, an hour.

Re: obligatory flying car

PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:43 pm
by RhodyDave
:shock: I don't want to even imagine flying cars until we can perfect the safety and operation of ground cars. Basically, we need to remove any human operator component, but since this hasn't even been attempted in traditional cars, I don't think this is something we'll be seeing anytime soon.

Re: obligatory flying car

PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:26 am
by anatoly
I don't think we'll have foolproof flying cars till we have foolproof fools...

Re: obligatory flying car

PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:51 pm
by aburt
Update... DARPA (defense advanced research projects agency, who brought you the Internet) is hoping to create the flying car in four years: ... tsons.html