goblin211
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Will There Ever Be Flying Cars?

Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:32 pm

Like as often depicted in movies, how cars will fly somehow and there won't be roads anymore. Do you think this is possible or just Hollywood? I don't think it's going to happen but...
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aloges
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RE: Will There Ever Be Flying Cars?

Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:54 pm

There always seems to be something under development and/or testing, but rarely something that appeals to lots of customers.

one somewhat popular example: http://www.terrafugia.com/

All of those attempts are rather roadworthy airplanes than flying cars.
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Aesma
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RE: Will There Ever Be Flying Cars?

Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:29 pm

And probably not even roadworthy in countries with strict regulations (like France, where the smallest of change in a car makes it illegal to use on the road).

As for "one day", I think it will probably happen, once we have solved the current energy problem. Flying takes a lot more energy than staying on the ground on roads (or better, train tracks), even with the best of technology. So, when there is enough energy for everything else, preferably without burning coal or oil, then the flying car for everybody will be possible. Of course, it will use an autopilot and a networked automatic ATC, it would be impossible to fly manually with millions of flying cars in the air.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
GST
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RE: Will There Ever Be Flying Cars?

Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:33 pm

I do not see it happening, simply because there are too many tradeoffs to be made. All attempts in the past have ended up in "jack of all trades, master of none" scenarios Having a vehicle with a high enough thrust to weight ratio to be an aircraft with viable performance is just a massive waste for road usage. you will end up with too little weight allowance for road safety features like adequate crumple zones etc, wings will need to be too low aspect ratio for efficiency, etc. And let's not forget that aero engines need to be serviced very expensively after a relatively low number of hours (for a car), so driving it on the road would be an absolute waste. Or you could have two engines for flying and driving respectively, but that would be an even bigger waste!

I just can't see any options that result in anything other than "checkmate" for the design's viability.
 
LMP737
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RE: Will There Ever Be Flying Cars?

Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:37 pm

God I hope not. At least here in the USA, there are enough bad drivers on surface roads. I can only imagine what a mess flying cars would be.
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aloges
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RE: Will There Ever Be Flying Cars?

Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:40 pm

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 4):
I can only imagine what a mess flying cars would be.

They'd make "Airplane!" look like a utopian fantasy!
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
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cpd
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RE: Will There Ever Be Flying Cars?

Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:02 am

Air traffic control will take on a new meaning with this kind of utopian fantasy.  

And not a good meaning, either. People on the roads are crazy enough as it is, let alone having them flying themselves around.  Wow!
 
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Aesma
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RE: Will There Ever Be Flying Cars?

Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:45 am

GST : in fact the OP is not talking about a road car that could fly, but about a flying thing that would replace cars altogether. Like if everybody had an helicopter and an helipad on top of their homes or in the garden (top of the home for mine, it's flat).

As for aero engines, look at the latest Rotax, they run on mogas, have more than 2000h TBO (which probably could translate to something like 300 000 Km road use or more, but the purpose is only to drive to the nearest airfield anyway). It is what is used in the terrafugia. That one is made of carbon fiber and has crumple zones. The engine is only 100hp so if anything, to the average American, it's underpowered on the road ! But of course it's very light. It's not very aerodynamic, I'll give you that ! And the payload is not great (due to the LSA category, I suspect).
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
Geezer
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RE: Will There Ever Be Flying Cars?

Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:48 am

Read all the posts; others have touched on all the bases; people have been trying to do it for at least 75 years now; and it never has worked. O.K. here we are, 2011, new materials, new technology all over the place; from a purely engineering standpoint, I suppose almost anything "is possible", however unlikely; but ONE thing that has NEVER changed, and in fact, is getting worse by the day.............people ! What do you see on the interstates, the autobahns, the "super roads" ? more courteous drivers ? more "safety minded drivers" ? If you answer yes to either question, please tell me what planet you are on ! The human race has become a "rat race" ! People can't stand other people any more; and there are more and more people who can't stand each other every single day ! We hear a lot any more about the great "population explosion"..........................having enough "flying cars", "PAV's" ( personal aerial vehicles ) buzzzing about might just be the best, quickest "solution" to the "population explosion" !

P.S. If you think I'm kidding about people...............just go "down" on the "Non-Aviation Forum" for a few hours, and you will quickly realize I am right !

Charley
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
GST
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RE: Will There Ever Be Flying Cars?

Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:16 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 7):
But of course it's very light. It's not very aerodynamic, I'll give you that ! And the payload is not great (due to the LSA category, I suspect).

Indeed it was too heavy for the LSA catagory and had to get special dispensation to slot into it, as a result of the road vehicle requirements adding too much weight. It is this that largely limits your payload options.

Quoting geezer (Reply 8):
People can't stand other people any more

We never could stand other people, it's the smell.
 
UAL747
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RE: Will There Ever Be Flying Cars?

Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:51 pm

Well, some issues:

1. A flying car needs folding wings, or a VERY expensive FBW (Float-by-wire) vertical take off system and transitional control by computers.

2. A flying car would be extremely inefficient over short distances.

3. The car needs to be able to go down the street like a car in order for it to be anywhere near practical.

4. The car would be extremely expensive.

My Solution?

Buy a new Mercedes S-Class to drive to your local private airport and hop in your King Air 350.

UAL
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: Will There Ever Be Flying Cars?

Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:41 pm

Flying car no, roadable airplane as in the Terrafugia yes. But at the price it's going to be a very small market.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
UAL747
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RE: Will There Ever Be Flying Cars?

Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:54 pm

Quoting IMissPiedmont (Reply 11):
But at the price it's going to be a very small market.

Hence my suggestion of buying a Mercedes Sedan to drive you to your plane at the airport.   Same concept. Same price, or less.
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
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Aesma
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RE: Will There Ever Be Flying Cars?

Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:41 pm

The terrafugia estimated price is around 200 000$, a king air is in the millions. I'm sure you meant drive a car to your Tecnam P2004 Bravo  
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams

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