HBA discussion here, and why I don't like it post #24Here is a YouTube video of the ehang 184. Similar concept more realistic specs and set to actually be a service in July!
If a typical flight uses 10-20% of battery capacity you have 15 to 25 mminutes of charging time. Show up before that and range might be 10 percent or so less.How are you gonna cycle the aircraft enough to do that? Replace the batteries after every flight? Now <edited> we need serious charging, storage, and battery swap infrastructure and a crew to manage things at each little landing site.
If the automated airborne commuter concept is viable, why bother doing it as all-electric? Stick a motor in it, generate electric power, and run the fans. Have a 2 minute backup battery if the engine coughs. Voila, cheaper, more technologically doable, longer ranged, and less to fool with on a daily basis.
Well, it could mean it's a "cluster"... or it could mean that the regulators in the US and Europe won't let it fly because it doesn't fit into one of the existing neatly-defined categories in the regulations. Powered lift is a relatively new category that I don't think any existing aircraft has been certified in (unless the V-22 has a civil certification), and to my knowledge nobody's regs are accommodating of electric-powered aircraft yet. An autonomous electric powered-lift aircraft might leave the FAA sputtering in confusion. The UAE authorities may be more... accommodating of novel concepts than the FAA. Or at least, maybe flying first in Dubai means a lot less bureaucratic red tape. I'd imagine further tests in the US/Europe would be easier if you came to them with test data and said "look, here's what we have and how it works".The fact that some life-critical and highly complex aircraft at the cutting edge of (whatever) is being tested and introduced in Dubai (as opposed to Groom Lake, Lockheed Georgia, Wichita, Palmdale, Mojave Spaceport, or a European Akaflieg) tells me everything I need to know about the ehang gizmo.
Rocket launched chutes can be designed for low altitude. Just look at the BRS chutes for ultra lights. It can be done, as for cheap, that is another matter.This aircraft got good acceptance at the UBER Elevate Summit yesterday. Lots of $$$ flowing into this segment. Lilium has an all aircraft parachute, just in case, but I don't see how this helps with problems at low altitude.
BTW the presentations are live-streamed both today and tomorrow and yesterday's will most probably be online....
Even just the drag of the chute coming out might take just 1 knot off the impact speed, and that could make the difference between being stretchered away, or having the Coroner come and get you. I'll take that.Lilium has an all aircraft parachute, just in case, but I don't see how this helps with problems at low altitude.
If you have any forward velocity and a you can get a chute deployed you have a pretty good chance. It is that place between coming in on final and before transition of a tilt wing VTOL that is the problem. So the idea would be to program the mission profile to transition low which is has its own set of issues. But with electric motors and a lot of them and that much redundancy I think that unless there was a full power failure you could mush in as a worst case if you started losing motors. All multi copters can adapt in real time to rotor/thrust losses. The more rotors the better the probability of maintaining control. Say you were down to 50% power from a low altitude you are still slowing your decent. I think a chute is mandatory in this sort of craft, and automatic in some way with the intended clientele and what they all intend as a commercial footprint. Cars don't have red levers for airbags, right? They have sensors that respond to the case where the impact is already underway. A chute controller could sense loss of control, uncommanded loss of thrust, altitude and descent rate combinations, and a host of other conditional factors before deploying. Without that figured out none of these things are viable. I think any sort of chute deployment works. Could be pneumatic. Just has to be relatively fast.Even just the drag of the chute coming out might take just 1 knot off the impact speed, and that could make the difference between being stretchered away, or having the Coroner come and get you. I'll take that.