Flying saucer nears US take-off
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Thread: Flying saucer nears US take-off

  1. #1

    Flying saucer nears US take-off

    From bbc.co.uk: Flying saucer nears US take-off.
    One proposal to beat the rush hour commute is to take to the skies with the M 200G "flying saucer", capable of vertical lift-off/landing and hovering. Possibly in production within six years, it will be capable of flying 400mph and climbing to 6000ft.

    With traffic the way it is, and human nature being what it is, I'm not sure I want to have to worry about metal objects crashing above me in midair, or some idiot hovering his skycar above my ride if this idea ever takes off.

    Oh yeah, and would it take regular gas, or aviation fuel, and what would that do to the environment if these things ever replace the plain-Jane auto? :P
    Why is everyone who drives slower than me an idiot, and everyone who drives faster a maniac?

  2. #2
    Administrator Honored Elder jeriddian's Avatar
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    Without an alternate fuel source, I think this will never go into mass production.
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    Registered User Exalted Member lunchmeat's Avatar
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    I'll grab my helmet and goggles....

    This pops up every so often. There was an idea that after WWII, with so many trained pilots returning to civilian life that everyone would be flying instead of driving, hence things like the Aerocar. Most of it never took off (yeah, I know, yuk yuk), although there was a minor boom in civil aviation that lasted until lawsuits closed down many of the manufacturers or drove them into markets, like business aircraft, that weren't prone to that sort of problem (most of the lawsuits were brought by surviving family members who sued on the basis that their improperly qualified crash particpant had been allowed to buy an airplane that they weren't skilled enough to handle, Congress finally banned these suits and there has been something of a resurgence in civil air, though the high prices of most planes refelct the residual costs of this, John Kennedy is a classic example, a marignally insturment qualified pilot flying into fog over the water, then straining himself through the instrument panel...).

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    Registered User Exalted Member Fireand'chutes77's Avatar
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    I think the main problem with flying cars is that if it's a problem when that yapper on his cellphone cuts you off after veering over three lanes of highway traffic, what's going to happen when he does the same thing at 23,000 feet at 256 mph?
    Carpe Navi: Because you never know when you'll get to go boating at government expense again.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Honored Elder campy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireand'chutes77 View Post
    I think the main problem with flying cars is that if it's a problem when that yapper on his cellphone cuts you off after veering over three lanes of highway traffic, what's going to happen when he does the same thing at 23,000 feet at 256 mph?
    They're going to have to have computers so advanced that incorrect inputs like that will simply be ignored by the flying car. What happens when the computer crashes is anyone's guess.

  6. #6
    Registered User Exalted Member lunchmeat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireand'chutes77 View Post
    I think the main problem with flying cars is that if it's a problem when that yapper on his cellphone cuts you off after veering over three lanes of highway traffic, what's going to happen when he does the same thing at 23,000 feet at 256 mph?

    I think that's one of the reasons that the aerial commute thing never happened. Your average driver has enough trouble with two dimensions and the advantage of ground friction (most of the time) to aid in stopping. Most of the driving public would probably be darwined when faced with three dimensions, negligable friction and higher speeds.

    A buddy of mine gave me a poster, which I still have, many years ago. It featured an old AVRO pusher in a tree with the caption: aviation is not inherently dangerous, but is unforgiving of error and inattention. It is true to this day.

  7. #7
    I also doubt these flying cars would be used in daily, intra-city commuting, unless we develop the technology to run everything by computer/automatic. But I wonder if they'd be able to compete successfully with the smaller jet (eg. Lear) market, or even business class passengers who'd rather avoid the crowds on big airliners.
    Why is everyone who drives slower than me an idiot, and everyone who drives faster a maniac?

  8. #8
    Mike_Industries
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    BACK TO THE FUTURE Part 4????

    Flying cars? Umm yeah, I am terrified of heights. I can barley make it on ride around a big roller coaster. Seriously, this idea I will never use. I'll be that one guy that goes "Conflabed new Techno-crap! In my day we used the ground and had to drive 15 miles up hill. Both ways. In the snow..."

  9. #9
    Moderator Venerated Elder TransWarpDrive's Avatar
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    A licensed pilot's opinion...

    I've seen these type of vehicles promoted for years now; this particular "car" has been in development for quite some time. The main problem with "flying cars" like these is one both lunchmeat and 'chutes pointed out: Most drivers have enough trouble moving in two dimensions, let alone three. After learning to drive, the majority of drivers just plain forget most of what they learned, and drive sloppily if not haphazardly. Believe me, it takes a lot of skill and coordination to fly an aircraft - one has to practice, practice, and practice in order to get it right. And, IMHO, most automobile drivers just don't have the coordination to operate one of these "flying cars."
    Plus, a jet-powered vehicle burns a lot of fuel - and given the price of fossil fuels today (gasoline and jet fuel both), such a "flying car" will be expensive to purchase and operate. Jeriddian has a point when he says an alternate fuel source would be necessary to allow this vehicle to go into mass production - although I personally don't think it'll be produced even with alternate fuels, for the reasons I've stated above.

  10. #10
    Registered User Exalted Member kyojikasshu's Avatar
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    Another concern about flying cars and the three-dimensional issue is collateral damage when there's an accident. The vast majority of crashes today don't involve damage to buildings, because people generally aren't driving at full speed (at least 25 mph) in such close proximity to buildings where contact between vehicle and structure is a risk. However, if something goes wrong in the sky, everybody below is at risk.

    Plus, in just thinking about this, another factor comes up - 9/11. I hate to have to be the one to go there, but let's face facts. We could have people acquiring flying cars for deliberately destructive purposes. Just what this world needs - flying car bombs!

    I really, really hate to be so pessimistic, but yeah. The flying car is just one more thing this world isn't ready for just yet.

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