Where The Hell Are The Flying Cars? It's The 21st Century!

hunck

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
4,325
Likes
5,137
Points
209
Location
Hobbs End
Autonomous flying taxi beginning regulatory approval process in New Zealand

Ex Google founder Larry Page's company Kitty Hawk - The firm’s two-person craft, called Cora, is a 12-rotor plane-drone hybrid that can take off vertically like a drone, but then uses a propeller at the back to fly at up to 110 miles an hour for around 62 miles at a time. The all-electric Cora flies autonomously up to 914 metres (3,000ft) above ground, has a wingspan of 11 metres, and has been eight years in the making.
Short video at link. Would you get in one of these?

“Cora will combine self-flying software with expert human supervision, so you can enjoy the ride,” says the company, which has fitted three independent flight systems, made the rotors operate independently and given Cora a parachute in case things go wrong.

Even if Kitty Hawk hits all its projected milestones and launches commercially, there’s then the matter of persuading people to actually use it.
 

Bigphoot2

Not sprouts! I hate sprouts.
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Messages
6,613
Likes
16,839
Points
294
Another attempt
BlackFly is latest attempt at flying car

Dave LeeNorth America technology reporter
  • 2 hours ago
A flying car that will not require a pilot's licence to operate has been unveiled in California.

BlackFly can travel for up to 25 miles (40km) at a speed of 62mph.

Its makers say it will eventually cost the same as a typical sports-utility car, but early models will be more expensive.

Kitty Hawk - another US start-up, which is backed by Google co-founder Larry Page - is also testing a personal aircraft in Las Vegas.

Several other rival flying cars are in development across the globe.

BlackFly's creator is the Palo Alto-based firm Opener. The car has been tested in Canada, where the country’s aviation authority has authorised its use.

etc
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-44805697
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
13,605
Likes
15,878
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
... And...what happens if the motors fail? ...
Same as your radio controlled drone toys - they fall out of the sky, and there's no particular reason to believe they'll hit the ground right-side-up ...

Neither the BlackFly nor the KittyHawk Flyer have wing structures suggesting any ability to glide toward a dead-stick landing.

A deployable parachute would seem a reasonable and feasible precaution, but I've yet to see any start-up 'flying car' descriptions that mention any attention being given to emergency preparedness.

Similarly, I've yet to see any developer mention whether the vehicles' props would / could disengage and free-wheel to afford a slower, potentially non-fatal, descent like a gyrocopter. My impression is that none of these prototypes has enough prop span to provide such braking in unpowered descent.

The KittyHawk Cora air taxi concept, however, has fixed wing structures which might afford enough lift to glide to a dead-stick non-fatal landing.

The drone-style multi-rotor prototypes are all designed for VTOL, and this absolutely relies upon props-under-power.

I'd also suspect that the VTOL motif is one reason why operators needn't be certified like 'regular' private pilots. I therefore suspect a lack of training on conventional landings will be cited in innumerable accident reports in the not too distant future.
 

INT21

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
6,711
Likes
5,278
Points
279
EnolaGaia,

...I'd also suspect that the VTOL motif is one reason why operators needn't be certified like 'regular' private pilots...

Are you sure about this ?

I was under the impression that even gyro pilots need to have passed a basic fixed-wing training course before being let loose in the air.

It's not just the actual ability to fly the thing but also the need to know about avoiding airports etc. Even for VFR flying.

Any way,flying cars will never happen. Far to many ways to kill the pilot, passengers and others on the ground.

And what a neat bomb delivery system !

INT21

Edit to correct typo. 'Fat' should read 'far'.
 
Last edited:

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
13,605
Likes
15,878
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
... Are you sure about this ?

I was under the impression that even gyro pilots need to have passed a basic fixed-wing training course before being let loose in the air.

It's not just the actual ability to fly the thing but also the need to know about avoiding airports etc. Even for VFR flying. ...
At least in the US, there's been no movement toward mandating training or certification for operating a personal 'flying car' (as contrasted with a formally defined aircraft).

One reason for this is the popular notion such personal vehicles would be VTOL craft operated to / from home (and / or wherever ... ) without the need to use airfield / airport facilities.

I hope the prospective operational environment will be made more controlled and regulated before these vehicles are unleashed on the general public.

You'd think that after 2/3 of a century I'd know better than to pin hopes on my fellow monkey-folks' rationality, but ...
 

INT21

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
6,711
Likes
5,278
Points
279
That's interesting.

I was in an argument with some cyclist about the legality of riding a cycle on a public footpath. After all, footpaths (sidewalks) are there to allow people to walk without run down by cars etc.So I looked it up.

Cycles are classed as vehicles for the purpose of the road traffic act in the UK.

It brings a fixed penalty fine of £30. I can't recall anyone ever being brought before a court for this though.

So I am surprised that the USA considers it safe to let people loose in the air in flying cars without training.

INT21
 

AlchoPwn

Public Service is my Motto.
Joined
Nov 2, 2017
Messages
1,815
Likes
2,514
Points
154
Aside from all that, I've spent a couple years now deciphering the McCandlish illustration. There's no doubt in my mind that any propeller driven machine is akin to a donkey cart. The ability to create machines which can overcome gravity is well within the powers of present manufacturing. They know it, I know it, and so do many others.

Rest assured, regardless of what the rulers want, this so-called anti-gravity system will become available. The system has been deciphered sufficiently to understand the driving principles. Knowledge is spreading and once it's out there, like it is now, then the inevitable will manifest itself for personal use.
I think your outrageous claims demand some sort of evidence. Humanity has barely discovered the Higgs Boson. The notion that we have overcome gravity in any way other than the conventional lighter-than-air/propeller driven/rocketry/jet engine/projectile methods is not very plausible Gambier. I am not saying you are wrong, but if you are going to say something like this, don't you think you should offer some proof?
 

INT21

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
6,711
Likes
5,278
Points
279
...but if you are going to say something like this, don't you think you should offer some proof?...

Hear, hear.

If not particularly illuminating it should be at least entertaining.

INT21
 

Cochise

Antediluvian
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
5,140
Likes
5,007
Points
284
EnolaGaia,

...I'd also suspect that the VTOL motif is one reason why operators needn't be certified like 'regular' private pilots...

Are you sure about this ?

I was under the impression that even gyro pilots need to have passed a basic fixed-wing training course before being let loose in the air.

It's not just the actual ability to fly the thing but also the need to know about avoiding airports etc. Even for VFR flying.

Any way,flying cars will never happen. Far to many ways to kill the pilot, passengers and others on the ground.

And what a neat bomb delivery system !

INT21

Edit to correct typo. 'Fat' should read 'far'.
No, you can be a 'Gyro Only' pilot. But even gyros are far more dangerous than a car. A good friend of mine who had graduated to being not only a pilot but a trainer was nearly killed when a trainee panicked and violently grabbed the stick. And that was only in a towed training gyro, not a powered one.
 

INT21

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
6,711
Likes
5,278
Points
279
Cochise,

Yes, you are correct. Here are the important bits from the CAA.

How much training will you need?
Everyone differs in their learning ability. Legally you require a minimum of 40 hours of training. Of these 40 hours at least 15 hours must be under dual instruction and at least 10 must be flown solo under the supervision of an instructor. The other 15 hours can be dual or solo as required. These are minimum requirements but a student with good aptitude, enthusiam and dedication should expect to train for between 40 and 50 hours.

Looks pretty expensive to me.

INT21
 

Mikefule

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
417
Likes
1,164
Points
139
Location
Lincolnshire UK
Flying cars are a fun idea, but an idea that is just silly.

We already have small helicopters. They can take off vertically, fly at speed and land vertically. We already have cars that can do the other parts of the role.

For obvious safety and traffic control reasons, the number of places a flying car could land would be limited. Would you then want to drive the rest of your journey in a "car" cluttered with the weight and ungainly bulk of aero engines, propellors and rotors? If you could afford a flying car, you could afford a taxi or limousine to meet you at your landing place, in which case, why not just use a helicopter for the flying part?

Flying in clear visibility and low wind speeds in uncluttered air space with easy topography is "easy enough" although you'd still need the training in all the safety and air traffic control protocols. As soon as the wind gets up, or it becomes foggy or icy, or the topography gets more complex, or there are tall buildings or other aircraft in the vicinity, the flying becomes considerably more complex. (Fans of Buddy Holly or Patsy Cline will know about what happens when small craft are flown in adverse weather that exceeds the pilot's experience and training.)

A flying car or amphibious car is trying to do two things with conflicting engineering requirements. It's a gimmick, like a portable radio with integral flashlight and bottle opener, or one of those multi tools that is too bulky to use for undoing a screw in a tight corner.

At best, flying cars and amphibious cars will never be more than rich people's playthings. I suspect that most of the ones "in development" exist for one of the following purposes:

1) To generate exciting publicity for a technology firm that never really intends to produce the actual flying/amphibious car, but does want to promote its image and its mainstream products.

2) To generate a tax loss for creative accounting purposes.

3) To attract investment from the gullible, with a view to siphoning some of it off — or maybe just having a lot of fun with the project.
 

Roland Deschain

All things serve the beam
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
401
Likes
570
Points
94
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44840953

Engine maker Rolls-Royce has designed a propulsion system for a flying taxi which it says could take to the skies as soon as early next decade.

The British firm said it had drawn up plans for an "electric vertical take-off and landing" (EVTOL) vehicle, which could carry four to five people.

The vehicle could travel at speeds of up to 250 mph (402 km/h) for approximately 500 miles, it said.

Rolls joins a variety of other firms in seeking to develop flying vehicles.

Speaking ahead of this week's Farnborough Airshow, Rob Watson, head of the company's electrical team, said: "We are well placed to play a leading role in the emerging world of personal air mobility and will also look to work in collaboration with a range of partners."
 

INT21

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
6,711
Likes
5,278
Points
279
Mikefule has it right.

They will never be common.

Far too dangerous to everyone.

A rich man's toy.

But a good platform for developing related technology.

Pretty much the same can be said for autonomous cars.

INT21
 

AlchoPwn

Public Service is my Motto.
Joined
Nov 2, 2017
Messages
1,815
Likes
2,514
Points
154
Mikefule has it right. They will never be common. Far too dangerous to everyone. A rich man's toy. But a good platform for developing related technology. Pretty much the same can be said for autonomous cars. INT21
Your comment is what was frequently said about automobiles in the 1890s almost word for word INT21. While I agree that within the current technological reality, we have yet to see autonomous cars actually deployed safely, and flying vehicles cannot be reliably maintained on the household budget of anyone short of a billionaire, we may yet see a good deal of change on both of those fronts. I agree at a certain level that flying vehicles are unlikely to become overly popular, as really, we already have them in the form of helicopters, and even 40 year old helicopters sell for over a cool half million today. Is that always going to be the case though?

In many ways the question becomes, will peak oil mean the death of the automobile, or will cities become so congested that the gridlock can only be solved by adding a 3rd dimension. In the latter case, we may yet see some value in a flying car.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
36,853
Likes
23,609
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
Your comment is what was frequently said about automobiles in the 1890s almost word for word INT21. While I agree that within the current technological reality, we have yet to see autonomous cars actually deployed safely, and flying vehicles cannot be reliably maintained on the household budget of anyone short of a billionaire, we may yet see a good deal of change on both of those fronts. I agree at a certain level that flying vehicles are unlikely to become overly popular, as really, we already have them in the form of helicopters, and even 40 year old helicopters sell for over a cool half million today. Is that always going to be the case though?

In many ways the question becomes, will peak oil mean the death of the automobile, or will cities become so congested that the gridlock can only be solved by adding a 3rd dimension. In the latter case, we may yet see some value in a flying car.
I think it'll mostly be rich people and the emergency services that will get to use flying cars.
We poorer people won't get a chance.
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
13,605
Likes
15,878
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Meanwhile, the inventors keep on experimenting ... 'Experiment' seems to be the right term, insofar as this one describes his design as "a trial and error process."

Inventor-takes-flying-car-for-successful-test-flight.jpg

Inventor takes flying car for successful test flight
A Philippines inventor said his homemade flying car has completed its first successful test flight after six years of development.

Kyxz Mendoza of Quezon City said his "Ultralight Aircraft" reached heights of 25 feet during the test flight, which was recorded on video and posted online.

He said the test flight came after six years of working on his invention, which uses drone-style multicopter technology to attain flight.

''We've been having bad weather so it took as a while after our deadline before we can finally show it to our followers. But after two months of tuning, here it is. I hope everyone will give this vehicle a positive reaction. This was only a dream for us five years ago," Mendoza said.

The inventor said he is seeing investors so he can mass-produce the vehicles.

''It's a flying car type of vehicle that uses drone technology or multicopter technology to fly. It's like a drone car," he said. ''I wanted it to be a sports car, a flying Lamborghini, maybe. The design was a trial and error process. Some materials burned up on use. Other materials didn't quite work.''
SOURCE: https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2018/0...or-successful-test-flight/5401536777428/?sl=5
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
48,813
Likes
20,868
Points
284
Location
Eblana
This one doesn't have wings but it does have legs.

Like the sushirrito and the Rollie Eggmaster, the wheel is the certified product of the human brain, unmatched in ingenuity by eons of evolution.

Now, after 5,000 years of transportation advances built on the ability to roll from A to B, Hyundai has decided it's time to move on. Today at CES in Las Vegas, the automaker fleshed out the details on an insect-like concept car that isn’t limited by its wheels. This thing also has legs, which allow it to go where there are no roads, by trekking or climbing over difficult terrain, fording rivers, clambering over crumbled concrete, or even climbing stairs.

In this city without restraint, CES is a safe space to showcase outrageous concepts unlikely to make it to production. But Hyundai has thought through a business case for the machine it’s calling Elevate, or the Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (how about the ummmm … V?). It pitches the blend of car, robot, and Mars rover as the ideal machine for first responders. While a car or truck would get stumped at the edge of a debris field of broken buildings, for example, the Elevate can just clamber on over, to the heart of the problem, instead of leaving firefighters or anyone else to trek in on foot. Hyundai says that, with a modular platform, the body atop the walking wheels could be swapped out for different applications. It also shows a taxi concept that can climb entrance steps to a building, to allow wheelchair users to roll in and out easily.

https://www.wired.com/story/hyundai... NL 010819 (1)&utm_medium=email&utm_source=nl
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
48,813
Likes
20,868
Points
284
Location
Eblana
And now...

Flying Cars On Stilts!

PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK, is a tough place to be outside in early January. The small city sits on the western shore of Lake Champlain, 20 miles south of the Canadian border. I’ve just arrived with Kyle Clark and a few of his colleagues, after a quick flight in a 40-year-old Cessna from Burlington, Vermont, on the other side of the lake. It’s snowing, and as we shuffle across the mostly abandoned former Air Force base toward a secluded hangar, I ask Clark if the weather might ice today’s flight plans.

He looks at me and laughs, opening the hangar door. “Not a chance.”

It’s no surprise that Clark—tall, athletic, copiously tattooed, and a former pro hockey player—doesn’t mind the winter weather. But these seem like conditions that would threaten the test flight of a rather complex, entirely new, fully electric aircraft. One whose eight motors and rotors must work in computerized synchrony to keep the ship aloft and true, whether going up, down, or forward.

Clark will have none of such worries. He bounds into the cavernous building that once housed B-52 bombers and introduces me to the Ava XC. The gleaming white contraption, with stilt-like landing gear and eight propellers jutting out in every direction, looks like what Tony Stark would build if he had an Edward Scissorhands phase. It is, in fact, the prototype that Clark’s company, Beta Technologies, has built to not only probe the challenges of electric aviation, but also prove it has the aerospace knowhow itself to compete in the crowded, yet-to-be-realized market for battery-powered vertical takeoff and landing aircraft—what you might call flying cars.

https://www.wired.com/story/beta-av... NL 011019 (1)&utm_medium=email&utm_source=nl
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
13,605
Likes
15,878
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
Posts relating to the technology and prospects of autonomous / driverless / self-driving cars have now been moved to a thread dedicated to that subject:

Autonomous / Self-Driving Cars and Other Ground Vehicles
https://forums.forteana.org/index.p...driving-cars-and-other-ground-vehicles.65274/

Update:

Posts relating to odd incidents, uses or behaviors relating to autonomous / driverless / self-driving cars have now been given their own thread:

Oddities & Idiocies In Using Autonomous / Self-Driving Vehicles
https://forums.forteana.org/index.p...using-autonomous-self-driving-vehicles.66329/
 
Last edited:
Top