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Thread: Sky car

  1. #1 Sky car 
    Forum Sophomore
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    Dec 2006
    How about a sky car .. when we will see it common for public?

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  3. #2  
    墨子 DaBOB's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Don't tell me you believed those videos!!!

    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman spirytus's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Working in the aviation industry, and being an avid aviation enthusiast since I saw my first airplane as a kid (yes, I love my job) I'd love to see an air vehicle everyone could use..

    A vehicle that costs under $30,000 USD.

    Unfortunately, there are considerable problems that need to be overcome (to name a few):
    1. Cost vs Safety - Reason why public airliners are the safest form of transportation at this moment is due to the "considerable" safety overhead during: development, manufacturing, operation and maintenance of an aircraft.

      Every single part on an aircraft must be designed, manufactured and tested in accordance to FAA's (or similar government agency) criteria before it certified as 'airworthy'.

      Furthermore, operation and maintenance of aircraft must also be followed in accordance to very strict FAA procedures.

      The FAA gets paid big bucks to enforce these regulations. And believe me, they do with an iron fist. Being so successful, they are the model for almost all Transport agencies throughout the globe.

      Now, all this extra safety costs money - lots of it. For example; A hypothetical bolt for a seat (which you can purchase at a hardware store for less than 10 cents). Will easily cost 5 ~ 10 dollars after it is certified 'airworthy'.

      If you eliminate this safety overhead for an "air car" in order to lower the costs. You'll basically have 500 ~ 2000 lbs projectiles liable to fall on your head at any moment.

      We already poses the technology to build aircraft that cost well under $20,000 USD (without any certification). A company like Chrysler could easily retool their factories and lower these production cost even further.

      However, when you're hurdling through space at 80 ~ 600 miles per hour; pulling over because your engine just died, you ran out of gas, or a piece of the wing just happen to come off, is not an option.
    2. The Human factor - Most aviation disasters to date are caused by human error. Lack of communication, fatigue, false interpretation of data, instrumental mistrust -- the list goes on...

      Now also consider that these people are all highly trained, throughly tested professionals. Training up to this point is expensive and time consuming. Despite popular belief flying is not like driving a bus or playing a video game. It's not something you can learn over a few days by riding in your dad's lap

      Furthermore lets look at how many irresponsible adults are already allowed to drive, you want to allow these same people the freedom to fly?
    3. Airspace control - believe it or not, the airspace around you is already congested. Mid-air collisions are not that uncommon place as people would like to think.

      If you introduce aviation to the mass public without a reliable traffic infrastructure you're asking for trouble.

    Now, not all is gloom

    One way to eliminate most of these problems is to completely illuminate the human out of the equation, utterly...

    Most fly-by-wire aircraft are now fully capable of flying themselves (takeoff, cruise, land) if the proper software module is installed.

    Also new air-traffic control systems are being developed that could easily handle the task at far greater efficiency and speed than their human counterparts.

    Unfortunately we can not cut corners on the cost of safety. Fixed wing or rotary wing aircraft are inherently complex in design and are subject to varying degree of possible mechanical failures.

    Not many people have walked away from critical mid-air failures. Even aircraft with built-in emergency systems (such as parachutes or ejection seats) take their toll on life. That's why varying degrees of safety controls must remain in place.

    Unless someone designs a radically new, failsafe, flight platform, the quest for an air-car will elude us for some time to come.

    P.S. This:

    Is an experimental aircraft that 'looks' like a car. Will it fly? maybe. Will it be practical? hmmm....


    Is a flying grass-mower. Does it fly? Most definitely - and it even cuts grass. Is it practical?......... Hell yes! 8)
    There are 10 types of people; those who understand binary, and those who don't.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Sophomore
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    Dec 2006
    Thanks.. for such gr8 info...
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  6. #5  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Dec 2006
    you forgot this:
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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