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Yeah ill by that, and when it says you have said range and then all of a sudden drops out of the sky leaving you crashed because of a battery glitch! LOL!

Ill let you and bunch of other get one first. I'll also never forget this crash, OOOPS

 

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Maybe my next electric vehicle will only have 17 miles range:
Yeah, just saw this here at CES:


Built with "Air Uber" in mind. (A whole new brand meaning for Lyft! ;) )Summon it with an app. 2 hours to fully recharge. I'll begin building the Heliport on my roof next week, otherwise due to it's size I would need to drive somewhere to meet it...which would defeat the purpose.

Also, this puppy was there as well:


The Workhorse SureFly will sit on top of a UPS or FedEx delivery truck. Where it can be launched to deliver packages for that "last mile".
 

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Yeah ill by that, and when it says you have said range and then all of a sudden drops out of the sky leaving you crashed because of a battery glitch! LOL!

Ill let you and bunch of other get one first. I'll also never forget this crash, OOOPS
The Volocopter has a ballistic chute on top. Saves you and the whole vehicle.
 

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Yup. EVs drive the learning curve on battery cost and specific gravity and volume.

And then the better batteries enable flying cars.
 

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How is the Velocopter better than a helicopter? A helicopter would have longer runtimes due to utilizing a larger disc vs many smaller discs, and is inherently more safe due to ability to autorotate (no need for parachute).

I've often wondered why quadcopters were the first to get GPS, position hold, and other advanced flight aids when a helicopter could implement them easier while being more efficient.

Is the swashplate really that much more expensive than building many motors/propellers?
 

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How is the Velocopter better than a helicopter? A helicopter would have longer runtimes due to utilizing a larger disc vs many smaller discs, and is inherently more safe due to ability to autorotate (no need for parachute).

I've often wondered why quadcopters were the first to get GPS, position hold, and other advanced flight aids when a helicopter could implement them easier while being more efficient.

Is the swashplate really that much more expensive than building many motors/propellers?
Its about control. For the same reason that most AV makers want to use an EV drivetrain.

We will not get human-piloted flying cars in populated areas. We will get autonomous flying cars.

Humans are pretty iffy as pilots on ground cars. We are going to skip the human piloting step in populated airspaces.

The drives here are several (I've given this a little thought) :nerd:

--It is **easier** to design/build a flying AV than a ground AV (simpler navigation, larger operating space, the ability to designate an AV-only operating space rather than a mixed human/AV environment.

--The infrastructure need is lower....move people without massive and expensive roads. Avoid traffic congestion (if takeoff and landing zones can be made ubiquitous)

--Requires lots of energy...but not as much as you might think for people-moving. Flying AVs are 'light-weighted' whereas human ground cars are essentially **armored** to survive inevitable collision with other human operated ground cars. If an electric flying AV weights in at 500 lbs, its primary energy consumption per mile moving one person is comparable to a Suburban with one passenger on the ground.

--Lightweighting also scales down parts/materials cost a lot.

--In a carbon-constrained future, most machines will have to be electrified. Once you have gone electric it IS much better to have have many small motors with fixed blades...redundancy and mechanical simplicity. I doubt those parachutes will be used often. Cars have 'emergency' (parking) brakes because the primary brakes could fail...how often does that happen nowadays? Many small identical motors are easier to build, assemble and service too.

--Like with uber....the goal here is small AV pods for moving single (or pairs) of people...this is a very small, quiet helicopter that can work in close quarters with humans. Recall that the first ICE cars, and the idea of running them on city streets terrified people (and horses). Are you ready to have swarms of these things streaming through the canyons of NYC? They need to be **not terrifying**, quiet, small, and steady (very tight negative feedback control).

--This volocopter looks unwieldy to me. I like the EHang, but it is probably louder. Larger and longer range vehicles will probably not be fixed multi-rotors. They will be rotating (stubby) wings with small multirotor props along the front edge...but they will still be surprisingly quiet and VTOL worthy. Several aviation companies are working on these 6-10 passenger scale vehicles now.

--If the cost is high per vehicle unit...they will need to operate a lot and have a long lifespan in service. This will favor a 'transportation as a service' model (like Uber) where these things are operating all the time.

So, yeah, we were promised flying cars, and from a strictly technical POV we could build them...but we could NOT imagine building a large-scale flying car transportation system. There were problems with:

--navigation/routing (human)
--piloting (human)
--noise (ICE)
--control/reliability/durability (single ICE engine)
--cost amortization with low operating hours (single ownership model)
--cost/complexity (small jet turbine is $$$, small electric motor almost free)
--energy consumption (ICE)
--CO2 emissions (fossil source)

This is why we never got flying cars: electric drivetrains, high performance batteries, GPS nav, AV-capable all-weather sensor suites and processors, wireless digital telecommunications, and a 100% renewable and cheap energy system to power the whole thing were **required**.

The ground/roads are meant for heavy cargo. People were meant to fly.
 

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How is the Velocopter better than a helicopter? A helicopter would have longer runtimes due to utilizing a larger disc vs many smaller discs, and is inherently more safe due to ability to autorotate (no need for parachute).

I've often wondered why quadcopters were the first to get GPS, position hold, and other advanced flight aids when a helicopter could implement them easier while being more efficient.

Is the swashplate really that much more expensive than building many motors/propellers?
I think, at least for the original DIY drones crowd, multirotors were easier to automate and stick the takeoff and landing, motor torque and torque vectors work well with small MPUs without much need for tuned PID loops for mechanical linkages and servos, at least to get a functional prototype version in the air anyway.

Autorotation is a really nice safety feature in theory, but I'd rather land under a deployed canopy than land at the autorotate descent velocity for most helos... Assuming any such 'chute deployment can be made reliable enough, at least. :)

Its about control. For the same reason that most AV makers want to use an EV drivetrain.
I've been thinking about this for awhile, along with proposed changes to the ownership model coming down the pike. Even if you "own" an autonomous vehicle, if it's network connected you really, really don't - unless you have full root privileges and validate the source, the manufacturer and/or whoever else is "on the other end" owns the vehicle - utterly and completely. It'll be interesting to see people give up their autonomy willingly so that their transportation can have it instead. Cities could be made into virtual prisons at the flick of a switch, very handy stuff.

It's quite cool that small planes and passenger drones are not much worse efficiency wise than a bulbous SUV, as you mentioned. I don't think most people know how good the MPG can be in small aircraft in general - fixed wing can approach economy car MPG in the right flight conditions.
 

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Its about control. For the same reason that most AV makers want to use an EV drivetrain.

We will not get human-piloted flying cars in populated areas. We will get autonomous flying cars.

Humans are pretty iffy as pilots on ground cars. We are going to skip the human piloting step in populated airspaces.

The drives here are several (I've given this a little thought) :nerd:

--It is **easier** to design/build a flying AV than a ground AV (simpler navigation, larger operating space, the ability to designate an AV-only operating space rather than a mixed human/AV environment.

--The infrastructure need is lower....move people without massive and expensive roads. Avoid traffic congestion (if takeoff and landing zones can be made ubiquitous)

--Requires lots of energy...but not as much as you might think for people-moving. Flying AVs are 'light-weighted' whereas human ground cars are essentially **armored** to survive inevitable collision with other human operated ground cars. If an electric flying AV weights in at 500 lbs, its primary energy consumption per mile moving one person is comparable to a Suburban with one passenger on the ground.

--Lightweighting also scales down parts/materials cost a lot.

--In a carbon-constrained future, most machines will have to be electrified. Once you have gone electric it IS much better to have have many small motors with fixed blades...redundancy and mechanical simplicity. I doubt those parachutes will be used often. Cars have 'emergency' (parking) brakes because the primary brakes could fail...how often does that happen nowadays? Many small identical motors are easier to build, assemble and service too.

--Like with uber....the goal here is small AV pods for moving single (or pairs) of people...this is a very small, quiet helicopter that can work in close quarters with humans. Recall that the first ICE cars, and the idea of running them on city streets terrified people (and horses). Are you ready to have swarms of these things streaming through the canyons of NYC? They need to be **not terrifying**, quiet, small, and steady (very tight negative feedback control).

--This volocopter looks unwieldy to me. I like the EHang, but it is probably louder. Larger and longer range vehicles will probably not be fixed multi-rotors. They will be rotating (stubby) wings with small multirotor props along the front edge...but they will still be surprisingly quiet and VTOL worthy. Several aviation companies are working on these 6-10 passenger scale vehicles now.

--If the cost is high per vehicle unit...they will need to operate a lot and have a long lifespan in service. This will favor a 'transportation as a service' model (like Uber) where these things are operating all the time.

So, yeah, we were promised flying cars, and from a strictly technical POV we could build them...but we could NOT imagine building a large-scale flying car transportation system. There were problems with:

--navigation/routing (human)
--piloting (human)
--noise (ICE)
--control/reliability/durability (single ICE engine)
--cost amortization with low operating hours (single ownership model)
--cost/complexity (small jet turbine is $$$, small electric motor almost free)
--energy consumption (ICE)
--CO2 emissions (fossil source)

This is why we never got flying cars: electric drivetrains, high performance batteries, GPS nav, AV-capable all-weather sensor suites and processors, wireless digital telecommunications, and a 100% renewable and cheap energy system to power the whole thing were **required**.

The ground/roads are meant for heavy cargo. People were meant to fly.
Pigs will fly long before cars.
 

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When you hear the oinking....look up. Those things aren't potty trained.

Why are all the aerospace companies (quietly) working on these prototypes?
This is just more futurist nonsense.

Promising technologies that never ever pan out is as American as apple pie.

I’m still waiting for my atomic car, or at least a flux capacitor model.
 

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This is just more futurist nonsense.

Promising technologies that never ever pan out is as American as apple pie.

I’m still waiting for my atomic car, or at least a flux capacitor model.
Perhaps.

On the con side...

--existing batteries are not sufficient in terms of specific energy (per weight) and charging speed for this to really work. EV adoption might lead to the development of affordable super batteries, like the 'solid electrolyte' battery...Li-ion might asymptote out near where they are now (while perhaps still getting cheaper) and then be the best battery for decades.

--the FAA rules would currently disallow such a system, as it would classify the aerial AV (or AAV) as a drone. It would need to create a whole new protocol, with AAV-only airspaces that exclude things like current airports. Other countries with less built infrastructure and looser laws might do this first and work out the kinks/costs/rules (as they have with renewable energy) and then we adopt it. Or we might choose not to. NIMBYs.

--Lightweighting and AV control sounds good, but in the real world there will still be collisions, between AAVs and other AAVs and buildings/wires/terrain. One issue is prop wash....one AAV passing over another will cause it to lose lift (this is how current drones 'fight'). Lightweight rotor structures are not going to survive an impact, and some parachute deployments will be fouled by foreign objects, debris or a second AAV. And even a 500 lb AAV on a chute falling onto a street can cause loss of life and property damage. Just how good is that control going to be?

I am just trying to point out that the flying car nonsense was due to the fact that YES, you could build a flying car from a power/control/scaling/cost point of view in 1950 onwards, BUT that you couldn't design/build a reliable mass AAV system that you could overlay on existing infrastructure. A lot (but not all) of the barriers to the latter problem have fallen away, and will continue to do so b/c of the adoption and evolution of EVs and AVs.

One reason I am bullish on this happening at some scale is because right now you DO have a cadre of people who are wealthy, live in the burbs and work in the city. And there is terrible traffic. My neighbors all have more money than they know what to do with, we are 14 miles from downtown Philly, and it takes an hour to get there on weekdays (and during weekend rush hours). These guys would happily plunk down $$$ for an air taxi from their neighborhood to their office that got them there in little time. There are many small niches like this around for this business to get started. The multirotor things like in this thread would likely be too slow, and not have good range for this app, but an electric tilt wing VTOL aircraft....could make the trip in ~10 minutes. It could also make 6 trips in the time it take a ground AV 'uber' to do so, using a similar amount of energy. Which will cost more?
 

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The ultimate answer is

JETPACKS!!!!!
 

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