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Where the hell are the flying cars? It's the 21st Century, d
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Mighty_EmperorOffline
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PostPosted: 02-09-2004 01:13    Post subject: Where the hell are the flying cars? It's the 21st Century, d Reply with quote

Flying cars got a passing mention in the Blade Runner thread:

http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=157&highlight=Skycar

from where I plundered anome's posting for the title of the thread Wink but I thought it deserved a thread of its own as we launch ourselves into the brave new world of people flying cars (am I the only one who is worried about this? - its bad enough letting people drive them on the ground!!).

-----------------------
Anyway back to the news:

Quote:
Tue 31 Aug 2004


Flying cars nearly ready for take-off

DUNCAN FORGAN


Key points:
• Flying cars seen as a way out of congestion chaos
• Californian company builds prototype Skycar
• Problem of how to police new sky motorways remains unclear

Key quote:
Quote:
"We’re trying to think through all the ramifications of what it would take to deploy a fleet of these" - Dick Paul, Vice President Boeing research


Story in full:
WE ALREADY have amphibious cars that can take us over land and sea and jet packs that allow us to take off like a spaceman.

Now some of the world’s leading engineers are trying to advance the technology of travel further by developing cars that can fly.

The new vehicles are seen as becoming necessary, with motorways growing more clogged, and commuters prepared to travel further.

California-based company Moller International has built a prototype of its Skycar. The streamlined vehicle - think sports car meets the hovercraft Luke Skywalker drove in Star Wars - is designed to make vertical take-offs, fly around 700 miles and drive short distances.

Jack Allison, who retired as a vice-president at Moller but still works there, said Skycars were expected to start at about
Quote:
Tue 31 Aug 2004


Flying cars nearly ready for take-off

DUNCAN FORGAN


Key points:
• Flying cars seen as a way out of congestion chaos
• Californian company builds prototype Skycar
• Problem of how to police new sky motorways remains unclear

Key quote:
Quote:
"We’re trying to think through all the ramifications of what it would take to deploy a fleet of these" - Dick Paul, Vice President Boeing research


Story in full:
WE ALREADY have amphibious cars that can take us over land and sea and jet packs that allow us to take off like a spaceman.

Now some of the world’s leading engineers are trying to advance the technology of travel further by developing cars that can fly.

The new vehicles are seen as becoming necessary, with motorways growing more clogged, and commuters prepared to travel further.

California-based company Moller International has built a prototype of its Skycar. The streamlined vehicle - think sports car meets the hovercraft Luke Skywalker drove in Star Wars - is designed to make vertical take-offs, fly around 700 miles and drive short distances.

Jack Allison, who retired as a vice-president at Moller but still works there, said Skycars were expected to start at about $1 million and require pilot’s training.

It’s not clear when they’ll be available, but Mr Allison says more than 100 people have put down a $5,000 deposit.

Major corporations are trying to take the concept on to the mass maket.

Boeing is already thinking far ahead. The company has created a miniature model of a sporty red helicopter/car hybrid that is helping the aerospace giant to understand what it would take to make flying cars.

Lynne Wenberg, the senior manager on the project, said the goal was to make a flying car that cost the same as a luxury vehicle, was quiet and fuel-efficient and easy to fly and maintain.

Boeing is especially interested in the broader problem of figuring out how to police the airways if thousands of flying cars enter the skies. No-one wants to be cut off, tail-gated or buzzed by a student driver at 1,000 feet.

"The neat, gee-whizz part [is] thinking about what would the vehicle itself look like, but we’re trying to think through all the ramifications of what it would take to deploy a fleet of these," said Dick Paul, a vice-president with Boeing’s research arm.

Dutch researchers believe they are less than two years away from developing a machine which will be at home on the roads and in the air, while satisfying the legal requirements of both.

A three-year feasibility study at Delft Technical University has convinced entrepreneurs that with a budget of £10 million, the Aerocar could be ready for production by 2006.

The machine is expected to deliver a top speed of around 140mph in the air and 70mph on the road. In the air, the car would function as a gyrocopter, using a conventional propeller to provide thrust and helicopter-style rotors for lift.

It would need about 50 metres to take off in, but could land in a much shorter space.

After landing, the rotors and propellers would automatically fold away, and the machine would use the same engine to drive its wheels.

A flying car would follow a long line of transport innovations. This year, a British firm, Gibbs Technologies, unveiled a high-speed amphibious vehicle, the Aquada. Retailing at about £150,000, it can do 100mph on the road and 35mph on water.

It hit the headlines in June when Sir Richard Branson beat the record for crossing the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle. The Virgin chief sped from Dover to Calais in 90 minutes.

It was believed that jet packs would become a common transport method when they appeared in the Sixties. Military supplier Bell Airspace developed the first prototype in 1958, a jet haversack donned by Sean Connery’s James Bond in the 1965 film Thunderball. So far, attempts to develop one have failed..

Another invention which failed to convince the public was the Sinclair C5. With its three wheels, low driving position and top speed of 25mph, it was a laughing stock.
million and require pilot’s training.

It’s not clear when they’ll be available, but Mr Allison says more than 100 people have put down a ,000 deposit.

Major corporations are trying to take the concept on to the mass maket.

Boeing is already thinking far ahead. The company has created a miniature model of a sporty red helicopter/car hybrid that is helping the aerospace giant to understand what it would take to make flying cars.

Lynne Wenberg, the senior manager on the project, said the goal was to make a flying car that cost the same as a luxury vehicle, was quiet and fuel-efficient and easy to fly and maintain.

Boeing is especially interested in the broader problem of figuring out how to police the airways if thousands of flying cars enter the skies. No-one wants to be cut off, tail-gated or buzzed by a student driver at 1,000 feet.

"The neat, gee-whizz part [is] thinking about what would the vehicle itself look like, but we’re trying to think through all the ramifications of what it would take to deploy a fleet of these," said Dick Paul, a vice-president with Boeing’s research arm.

Dutch researchers believe they are less than two years away from developing a machine which will be at home on the roads and in the air, while satisfying the legal requirements of both.

A three-year feasibility study at Delft Technical University has convinced entrepreneurs that with a budget of £10 million, the Aerocar could be ready for production by 2006.

The machine is expected to deliver a top speed of around 140mph in the air and 70mph on the road. In the air, the car would function as a gyrocopter, using a conventional propeller to provide thrust and helicopter-style rotors for lift.

It would need about 50 metres to take off in, but could land in a much shorter space.

After landing, the rotors and propellers would automatically fold away, and the machine would use the same engine to drive its wheels.

A flying car would follow a long line of transport innovations. This year, a British firm, Gibbs Technologies, unveiled a high-speed amphibious vehicle, the Aquada. Retailing at about £150,000, it can do 100mph on the road and 35mph on water.

It hit the headlines in June when Sir Richard Branson beat the record for crossing the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle. The Virgin chief sped from Dover to Calais in 90 minutes.

It was believed that jet packs would become a common transport method when they appeared in the Sixties. Military supplier Bell Airspace developed the first prototype in 1958, a jet haversack donned by Sean Connery’s James Bond in the 1965 film Thunderball. So far, attempts to develop one have failed..

Another invention which failed to convince the public was the Sinclair C5. With its three wheels, low driving position and top speed of 25mph, it was a laughing stock.


http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1020002004
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ramonmercadoOnline
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PostPosted: 02-09-2004 09:52    Post subject: As Gridlock Grows, Scientists Look at Adding Lanes in the Sk Reply with quote

As Gridlock Grows, Scientists Look at Adding Lanes in the Sky

August 29, 2004

By ALLISON LINN
AP Business Writer

SEATTLE (AP) -- It's a frustrated commuter's escapist fantasy: literally lifting your car out of a clogged highway and soaring through the skies, landing just in time to motor into your driveway.

Researchers stress that the ultimate dream -- an affordable, easy-to-use vehicle that could allow regular people to fly 200 miles (322 kilometers) to a meeting and also drive 15 miles (24 kilometers) to the mall -- is still probably decades away.

But engineers at NASA, Boeing Co. and elsewhere say the basis for a flying car is there. People have been building, or trying to build, such vehicles for decades.

The problem is, those ideas have generally required both a lot of money and the skills of a trained pilot. And melding cars and planes hasn't always been very successful.

"When you try to combine them you get the worst of both worlds: a very heavy, slow, expensive vehicle that's hard to use," said Mark Moore, who heads the personal air vehicle division of the vehicle systems program at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

The goal isn't just to create a neat gizmo: These vehicles will become more appealing -- and necessary -- as highways and airport hubs grow more clogged, and commutes more distant.

At NASA, the first goal is to transform small airplane travel. Right now, really small airplanes are generally costly, uncomfortable and loud and require months of training and lots of money to operate; that makes flying to work impractical for most people.

Within five years, NASA researchers hope to develop technology for a small airplane that can fly out of regional airports, costs less than $100,000 (euro83,192), is as quiet as a motorcycle and as simple to operate as a car. Although it wouldn't have any road-driving capabilities, it would give regular people the ability to fly short distances.

To make flying simpler, NASA is working on technologies that would automate more pilot's functions.

In 10 years, NASA hopes to have created technology for going door-to-door. These still wouldn't be full-fledged flying cars -- instead, they'd be small planes that can drive very short distances on side streets, after landing at a nearby airport.

In 15 years, they hope to have the technology for larger vehicles, seating as many as four passengers, and the ability to make vertical takeoffs.

It will probably take years after these technologies are developed before such vehicles are actually on the market. And Moore says it will take about 25 years to get to anything "remotely 'Jetsons'-like,"' a reference to the futuristic cartoon that fed many flying car fantasies.

Researchers at Boeing in Seattle are already thinking that far ahead: They've created a miniature model of a sporty red helicopter/car hybrid that is helping the aerospace giant understand what it would take to make flying cars a reality.

Lynne Wenberg, senior manager on the project, said the goal is to make a flying car that costs the same as a luxury vehicle, is quiet and fuel-efficient and easy to fly and maintain.

Boeing is especially interested in the broader problem of figuring out how to police the airways -- and prevent total pandemonium -- if thousands of flying cars enter the skies. No one wants to be cut off, tailgated or buzzed a little too closely by a student driver at 1,000 feet (300 meters).

"The neat, gee-whiz part (is) thinking about what would the vehicle itself look like, but we're trying to think through all the ramifications of what would it take to deploy a fleet of these," said Dick Paul, a vice president with Phantom Works, Boeing's research arm.

Smaller companies are working on flying car technology as well. Davis, California-based Moller International has already built a prototype of its Skycar. The streamlined vehicle -- think sports car meets the hovercraft Luke Skywalker drove in "Star Wars" -- is designed to make vertical takeoffs, fly around 700 miles (1,126 kilometers) and drive short distances.

Jack Allison, who retired as a vice president at Moller but still works there regularly, said Skycars are expected to start at around $1 million (euro831,922) and require pilot's training. It's not yet clear when they'll be available, but Allison says demand is already there: More than 100 people have put down a $5,000 (euro4,159) deposit.

While researchers are already working on some level of automation to make flying small planes easier, the ultimate goal would be to have a vehicle that is considerably smarter than what's available today.

Ken Goodrich, a senior research engineer at NASA, said one concept under discussion is technology that runs in "h" mode, which stands for "horse." The idea is that a horse, unlike a car, is more likely to try to avoid other objects and may even know how to find its way home.

But Goodrich said he's not sure that the fantasy of the flying car ever would or should become a reality. He questioned whether having flying/driving vehicles throughout the country might end up being too noisy, disruptive and impractical.

"You'd have to look at all aspects of it, how it would integrate in greater society and affect our quality of life," he said.

http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/04/08/ap_083104.asp
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MythopoeikaOnline
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PostPosted: 02-09-2004 11:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think they should get used first by the emergency services.
Ambulances and police cars can get to a scene faster, without having to weave through gridlocked traffic.
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PostPosted: 02-09-2004 17:46    Post subject: Deleted Reply with quote

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Last edited by Guest on 30-05-2005 01:51; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: 02-09-2004 18:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say it was more feasible in the short term to have everyone's car controlled at a central point. Simply punch in your destination and sit back. No road rage, no speeding, optimized traffic flow, near zero accidents, less stress, never get lost.
Giving some of the assholes on the road a flying car is laughable.
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KondoruOffline
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PostPosted: 02-09-2004 18:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dunno about you, I want a device that precludes the neccesity for travel anywhere.

(ah, she has one, right in front of her.)

I dunno about flying cars, I have my very own Moller International T shirt!
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SoundDust
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PostPosted: 02-09-2004 19:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

teleportation anyone?Wink
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anne_of_28_daysOffline
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PostPosted: 02-09-2004 22:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm still waiting for those pills that were supposed to completely replace a meal.
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MythopoeikaOnline
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PostPosted: 03-09-2004 10:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

Milk shakes are available to replace an entire meal.
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wembley8Offline
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PostPosted: 03-09-2004 10:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

Call me a skeptic, but Moller have been around for about 40 years making the same claims.

There are one or two issues about safety, air traffic control and noise to be addressed, plus the non-trivial one of economics.

Sure, we've had rocket belts and jet packs for 40 years, but nothing has ever come of them, and for good reason.

How about quiet, safe, eco-friendly cars instead?
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KondoruOffline
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PostPosted: 03-09-2004 16:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like my car as it is. Its roomy inside, a small engine so its economical and theres plenty of space to work under the bonnet. no compter junk so if it goes wrong i stand a chance of fixing it myself. it is prone to wet but that is easily fixed with WD40.

And I like my food as it is too, thank you.
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PostPosted: 05-09-2004 18:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

>i'm still waiting for those pills that were supposed to completely replace a meal.<

Why? I believe it's quite possible, but there's no market. Basically you'd be swallowing pot noodle without the water...
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KeyserXSozeOffline
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PostPosted: 22-09-2004 14:53    Post subject: More on "Skycar" Reply with quote

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3676694.stm
Quote:
Flying cars swoop to the rescue
As motorways become more and more clogged up with traffic, a new generation of flying cars will be needed to ferry people along skyways.
That is the verdict of engineers from the US space agency and aeronautical firms, who envision future commuters travelling by "skycar".

These could look much like the concept skycar shown in the picture, designed by Boeing research and development.

However, such vehicles could be some 25 years from appearing on the market.

When you try to combine them you get the worst of both worlds: a very heavy, slow, expensive vehicle that's hard to use
Mark Moore, Nasa Langley Research Center

Efforts to build flying vehicles in the past have not been very successful.
Such vehicles would not only be expensive and require the skills of a trained pilot to fly, but there are significant engineering challenges involved in developing them.

"When you try to combine them you get the worst of both worlds: a very heavy, slow, expensive vehicle that's hard to use," said Mark Moore, head of the personal air vehicle (PAV) division of the vehicle systems program at Nasa's Langley Research Center in Hampton, US.

But Boeing is also considering how to police the airways - and prevent total pandemonium - if thousands of flying cars enter the skies.

'Gee-whiz'

"The neat, gee-whiz part is thinking about what would the vehicle itself look like," said Dick Paul, a vice president with Phantom Works, Boeing's research and development arm.

"But we're trying to think through all the ramifications of what would it take to deploy a fleet of these."

Past proposals to solve this problem have included artificial intelligence systems to prevent collisions between air traffic.

Nasa is working on flying vehicles with the initial goal of transforming small plane travel.

Small planes are generally costly, loud, require months of training and lots of money to operate, making flying to work impractical for most people.
But within five years, Nasa researchers hope to develop technology for a small plane that can fly out of regional airports, costs less than 0,000 (£55,725), is as quiet as a motorcycle and as simple to operate as a car.

Although it would not have any road-driving capabilities, it would bring this form of travel within the grasp of a wider section of people. Technology would automate many of the pilot's functions.

This Small Aircraft Transportation System (Sats) would divert pressure away from the "hub-and-spoke" model of air travel.

Hub-and-spoke refers to the typically US model of passengers being processed through large "hub" airports and then on to secondary flights to "spoke" airports near their final destination.
Cool
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KondoruOffline
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PostPosted: 22-09-2004 16:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funnily enough, I do know a guy who uses a plane for everyday life.

He lives on Alderney and goes shopping in france.

But he needs a car at the airfield.
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MagusPerdeOffline
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PostPosted: 29-09-2004 02:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when (about... 1990ish?), my dad knew this guy who invented a flying car. I mean really, he was in the news and stuff. Can't remember his name. Anyway, it wasn't what you normally think of when you think futuristic flying cars; it was a car with this convertible sort of trailer, which could, after some hard work, be connected to the car and basically the whole thing turned into a sort of airplane. Of course this was not something anyone wanted to make available to the general public. But this guy had a pilot's license and he was able to fly it a bit, and it worked.

I don't know if this guy's still involved in that sort of thing (he's probably dead), but honestly, I don't think I want people flying their cars. They can't even ****ing drive right.


[EDIT:] Okay, here's the guy: http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/AC/aircraft/Aerocar/info/info.htm


Last edited by MagusPerde on 29-09-2004 02:21; edited 1 time in total
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