They probably won't fulfill the flying car dream, but the FAA is predicting that the advent of tiny jet aircraft weighing about the same as a minivan
and with a passenger capacity of two to six may eventually number in the thousands. There are skeptics, but the FAA said that about a hundred of the
crafts will be delivered this year. Initially the jets will cost about one to two million dollars each. Currently, there are three manufacturers who
are vying to produce affordable jet aircraft--Cessna, Adam Aircraft, and Eclipse Aviation.
Thousands of tiny new passenger jets will begin flying around the country soon, opening new travel opportunities at small airports around the
country, the Federal Aviation Administration said today. The first 100 or so are expected to start flying this year, the agency said, but it also
cautioned that the additional traffic could gum up the air traffic system.
In its annual aviation forecast, the F.A.A. projected sharply higher levels of non-airline flights in coming years because of the new planes, called
"very light jets," which will seat four to six passengers. The new planes can fly almost as fast as an airliner, and at even higher altitudes, but
will land easily at fields with 3,000-foot runways, half the length of those at big airports. With a range of 1,000 miles or more, proponents say the
new jets will spawn a new generation of air taxis and charters that will carry travelers to airports within 20 minutes of their homes or destinations,
at a price comparable to a coach airline ticket.
According to the F.A.A., 100 of the planes will be delivered this year, and more than 1,600 by 2010. Their cost is in the range of $1.5 million to
$2.25 million, or about half what existing business jets cost.
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The prices are high, so we can't expect these things to become as common as automobiles, but in that price range, more businesses will be able to
save money by owning one or more of these jets, thus creating competition for airlines and prices are sure to fall as production increases. Air taxi
services could proliferate with such technology. For more on this promising trend, see the links below.
Related News Links:
Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Flying cars imminent?
SCI/TECH: Flying Cars going into production
[edit on 2006/2/28 by GradyPhilpott]