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They're almost here: the Flying Car/Taxi META Thread

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posted on Aug, 24 2019 @ 04:40 PM
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There is a global race to the next technology for transportation. What was formerly called the 'flying car' has been in the last ten years growing far beyond the first limping or fraudulent attempts. There is a race to who will dominate the new aircraft category. American, European, Japanese and Chinese companies have been working at a furious rate. They are working on both their technology and with regulators to get their aircraft approved.

The concept has evolved from a 'flying car' with private ownership to more of a 'flying taxi' where people would take advantage of a network of aircraft owned by companies, governments or some hybrid combination. The rise of Uber, Lyft and other TNCs has greatly influenced this and is largely responsible for the shift from private aircraft to automated transportation networks.

Likewise, the tech largely behind the flying taxi is almost all based on massively upscaled drone technology. I mean drones as in quadcopters. The flying taxis are largely automated and do not allow the passengers to fly the aircraft at all. There are no pilots, only computers. While there might be cyber security and coding issues, one of the biggest historical arguments against 'flying cars' is made obsolete: people are generally really, really bad drivers and allowing them to do this in the air on a scale like they do for ground cars would be insane.

As stated, there are many, many companies working on their flying taxis. eHang, a chinese company, has had the most dramatic developments. NEC, Volocopter, and others (some quite small) are racing to get their tech out. Even Boeing and Airbus are involved. We will see who gets out there.

eHang.



NEC has just flown their prototype in a tethered fahsion (and I have to admit, it looks the coolest of the lot):



Volocopter:



And on the very small end (but might be manually flown) the Flying Kyxz Milenya:





posted on Aug, 24 2019 @ 04:42 PM
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a reply to: anzha

will this be shut down under the new green deal, no cars, no planes, no cows?



posted on Aug, 24 2019 @ 04:50 PM
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a reply to: PhilbertDezineck

Amusingly, probably not. They're all electric.



posted on Aug, 24 2019 @ 04:53 PM
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originally posted by: PhilbertDezineck
a reply to: anzha

will this be shut down under the new green deal, no cars, no planes, no cows?


Only in America, and if they can find a way only for white people.



posted on Aug, 24 2019 @ 05:11 PM
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originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: PhilbertDezineck

Amusingly, probably not. They're all electric.


We have electric planes? Whats their mileage rating? Puddle jumping or flight from KC to Denver?



posted on Aug, 24 2019 @ 06:27 PM
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This has a long way to go before introduction for service to the general public. Things like fail-safe systems and passenger responsibility, which most people don't consider especially if they are mentally unbalanced or intoxicated.

There will be many accidents. Collisions, vehicle malfunction, etc. I don't see this going anywhere, soon. If it flies without a pilot then passengers will require training just to ride in one.



posted on Aug, 24 2019 @ 06:35 PM
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One problem is the noise as the propellers are almost as loud as someone on a motorcycle with straight pipes.

Another thing to consider is ducting the fan blades for more efficiency and safety. You come flying home and a kid or a dog runs out to greet you only to be sliced and diced.

I do hope a creative design gets off the ground and is truly useful and the public can actually benefit but as of yet all of those designs are just glorified quad copter drones... stable and fly well with very limited range .
edit on 727thk19 by 727Sky because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2019 @ 07:16 PM
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a reply to: eManym

You get training for a driver's license.



posted on Aug, 24 2019 @ 09:48 PM
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originally posted by: eManym
This has a long way to go before introduction for service to the general public. Things like fail-safe systems and passenger responsibility, which most people don't consider especially if they are mentally unbalanced or intoxicated.

There will be many accidents. Collisions, vehicle malfunction, etc. I don't see this going anywhere, soon. If it flies without a pilot then passengers will require training just to ride in one.


Well the only training you need to be a passenger in an airplane is a 3 minute video, most of which is irrelevant to a flying taxi.



posted on Aug, 24 2019 @ 10:25 PM
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a reply to: 727Sky


One problem is the noise as the propellers are almost as loud as someone on a motorcycle with straight pipes.


Understood. I'd be interested to see what it is compared to a regular helicopter.


Another thing to consider is ducting the fan blades for more efficiency and safety. You come flying home and a kid or a dog runs out to greet you only to be sliced and diced.


The NEC design?


those designs are just glorified quad copter drones... stable and fly well with very limited range .


As I stated, they are pretty much drones grown large. The ehang has a flight range of about 40 km. Not far, not yet. 40 km is enough to hop across the SF Bay or other such.

And, so others are clear, no one flies these. They are purely autopilot for the flying taxis.



posted on Aug, 24 2019 @ 11:30 PM
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originally posted by: eManym
This has a long way to go before introduction for service to the general public. Things like fail-safe systems and passenger responsibility, which most people don't consider especially if they are mentally unbalanced or intoxicated.

There will be many accidents. Collisions, vehicle malfunction, etc. I don't see this going anywhere, soon. If it flies without a pilot then passengers will require training just to ride in one.


I know. These are cool, but what is the point of them? The biggest ones shown can barely fit two people; you would have to be a person without a hint of claustrophobia.

I don't understand who these are intended for...



posted on Aug, 25 2019 @ 12:41 AM
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originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: 727Sky

Understood. I'd be interested to see what it is compared to a regular helicopter.



Disc-loading is usually quite high, so loud. Also, it's not just volume, but the type of noise. Usually a more shrill sound. Much more annoying than whop-whop-whop. Ever hear a drone? Not just a quad drone (but that's annoying, too), but a real live shadow or Blackjack or Predator/Reaper (before they get to altitude) overhead? It's irritating. Nevermind a sky full of commuters.




As I stated, they are pretty much drones grown large. The ehang has a flight range of about 40 km. Not far, not yet. 40 km is enough to hop across the SF Bay or other such.


We are nowhere close enough to batteries with enough energy-density to make battery-electric air vehicles make any sense. Anything all electric is a PR effort, college program, and/or straight scam.
Also, 40km, and then how long to charge?



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 03:05 PM
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posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 03:09 PM
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originally posted by: KansasGirl
I know. These are cool, but what is the point of them?.

If I can't just back out of my garage with one, and instead have to drive to an airport to get to the car, then land at an airport and take a cab (or electric scooter) to my actual destination, then why should I fly? I'll just take a self-driving ground pod that will take me to the front door of my destination.



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 03:18 PM
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It's the last thing I want. Oversized drones creating noise polution. I cannot see this taking off.



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 03:32 PM
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originally posted by: paraphi
It's the last thing I want. Oversized drones creating noise polution. I cannot see this taking off.

Will they require the drivers to get a pilot's license?

Oh, and the liability issues will be crazy. Imagine a fender bender that ends up going through your roof.



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 05:27 PM
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originally posted by: RadioRobert

We are nowhere close enough to batteries with enough energy-density to make battery-electric air vehicles make any sense. Anything all electric is a PR effort, college program, and/or straight scam.
Also, 40km, and then how long to charge?


Exactly. The farthest these things are going to go is to become flying Ubers that last until the first one crashes and kills someone.



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 05:32 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Carplanesforkids
secondline




edit on 30-8-2019 by carsforkids because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 06:04 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

Tesla's battery system is about the best on the commercial market right now, and it has energy density values from .9 - 2.6 megajoules per kilogram (MJ/kg). Avgas has about 42-49 MJ/kg.

So I get at least 16 times the energy from one kg or pound or whatever unit of avgas that I carry than I get in one same-unit of weight of Tesla battery I carry.

Since weight will always be a big deal for aircraft (particularly those which require VTOL), this is a big problem, and will be for a long, long time.

If there were serious proposals for a practical VTOL flying taxi, they would not involve battery-electric. Battery -electric powerplants would be among the first ideas eliminated -- "serious" engineers would choose the 16+ times more weight-efficient fuels for this application (which is already difficult enough to accomplish -- any small combustion-fueled flying taxi about? Maybe little Robinsons? Small helicopters with lower disc-loading, higher efficiency engines, non-autonomous. How popular and widely used is the R22? Maybe 250 miles with 250lbs load which one needs to subtract ~200 lbs from to accommodate a pilot... Maybe 150 miles with 350lb load? How commercially viable has it been?) If someone was serious about wanting a flying taxi, that person might start with an autonomous R22 analogue. You don't see that. You see efforts with much higher disc-loading, less weight-efficient engines, etc Which tells you basically what you need to know about these "serious proposals".


None of that even touches on the serious operational problems related to mass flying taxis that others have alluded to.



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